Shocking California Elder Abuse Case

The law defines elder abuse as “physical abuse, neglect, financial abuse, abandonment, isolation, abduction or other treatment resulting in physical harm or pain or mental suffering, or the deprivation by a care custodian of goods or services that are necessary to avoid physical harm or mental suffering.” A ghastly example of elder abuse based on mental suffering comes out of Ukiah.

It was reported that six workers of a Ukiah skilled nursing home, Valley View Skilled Nursing, were arrested recently. They are charged with elder abuse for the following prank. They would place slippery ointments on dementia patients as a gag. The point of the gag was to try and make the patients more slippery for other staff members who were responsible for caring for the residents. This type of demeaning activity clearly falls within he protection of the elder abuse statutes.

If you have family or friends in a care home, it may not always be easy to tell if that person is being neglected or abused. This is especially true if due to their dementia they are unable to clearly express themselves. As an Oakland elder abuse attorney, I have learned many signs to look for if there has been behavioral abuse. The following are possible indicators that someone has been abused: fear, helplessness, resignation, implausible stories, anger, withdrawal, hesitation to talk openly, confusion, denial, depression, anxiety, agitation and non-responsiveness. If you suspect abuse, you can have this investigated by the Department of Health Services. Also, an experienced elder abuse attorney may also be helpful in guiding you through the process.


Press Democrat, Elder abuse charged in Ukiah nursing home ‘prank‘, August 3, 2010

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