The Law Office of Howard L. Hibbard assists our clients in the resolution of a sensitive elder law issues, including abuse allegations, with compassion and integrity. Our office works with elders and their spouses, children and grandchildren, beneficiaries of wills and trusts, and healthcare providers to provide comprehensive solutions to delicate matters.
Elder law can be both complex and emotional. Our attorneys are known for providing understanding personal service and are experienced in the recapture of assets wrongfully obtained by family, friends or healthcare providers. To arrange a free consultation with one of our attorneys, please contact us.
General Information about Elder Abuse
Elder abuse is a delicate area of the law for those involved. Elder law covers instances of abuse, neglect or exploitation of elders which result in physical, mental, emotional, or financial suffering. Elder persons are classified as those adult 65 years of age or older.
If you feel that you or an elder you know may be the suffering abuse, it is important to report the abuse to the appropriate authorities (contact information below). Under California Welfare Section 15630, certain categories of people are required to report abuse, including: physicians and medical professionals, clergy, all employees of health care facilities, including skilled nursing, day centers and residential care, and any person who assumes responsibility for the care or custody of an elderly person or a dependent adult.
Types of Elder Abuse
Elder abuse includes harmful and unlawful behavior toward an elder including:
(1) physical abuse;
(2) sexual abuse;
(3) emotional abuse (including intimidation through habitual yelling, humiliation, blame, isolation, etc.);
(4) neglect of caretaking obligations (including basic living conditions and medical treatment and care, etc.); and/or
(5) financial exploitation through undue influence, theft, misuse of funds, identity theft, forgery, investment fraud, or other schemes.
This list is not all-inclusive and other behaviors may constitute abuse. Any type of abuse may result in irreversible injury to an elder or dependent person and timely reporting and investigation can help the State prosecute offenders and protect other elders from abuse.
Signs of Elder Abuse
Elder Abuse may be difficult to ascertain especially if the abuse is not physical. Warning signs include changes in physical appearance or behavior patterns, withdrawal from normal activities, sudden or drastic estate planning changes, unusual transfer of assets or unusual banking activity.
When the abuse is at the hands of a care provider, warning signs may include isolation of the elder by the care provider or the care provider insisting on always being present with the elder, or the care provider seeming more concerned with the elder’s finances than their well being.
Resources for Abused Persons, Family and Friends
The State of California publishes “A Citizen’s Guide to Preventing and Reporting Elder Abuse” which outlines types of abuse, and provides helpful information for assessing and reporting abuse.
In addition, each county in California has an Adult Protective Services (APS) program. For a listing of contact information by county, please visit the California Department of Social Services (CDSS) Contact Information page. APS investigates reports or elder or adult dependent abuse regardless of income level for elders and dependent adults who live in private homes, hospitals, care facilities and clinics, when the allegation of abuse is not made against a hospital or health clinic staff member. CDSS also provides forms to report abuse. The Department of Consumer Affairs also has reporting information.
The Licensing & Certification Program of the California Department of Health Services handles cases of abuse by a member of a hospital or health clinic.
Services We Provide
The Law Office of Howard L. Hibbard provides the following services to our elder abuse clients: evaluation on a case-by-case basis of all available options and assessment of risks; (2) consultations, phone calls, client updates, (3) preparation of all court paperwork, pleadings and other documents; (4) legal research as necessary, (5) preparation of all trial/hearing exhibits and witnesses, (6) court or administrative hearing, arbitration and/or trial representation, (7) service of papers and court filings.
The Law Office of Howard L. Hibbard is well versed in California elder abuse law and procedures. Please contact us for a free consultation.