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California and Alabama Men Arrested on Charges of Elder Abuse

Nursing home abuse lawyers at Pintas & Mullins report that two men, one in California and one in Alabama, are among the most recent to be arrested on suspicion of senior abuse. The Alabama man was charged with sexual assault, the California man on a host of physical abuse allegations.

The man in California, a 34-year-old from Benicia, is accused of slapping, strangling, threatening, and holding a knife to a 66-year-old woman in her home. The attacks seemed to have occurred in a series, with the victim only able to narrowly escape her house after multiple days of abuse.

He was charged with suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, false imprisonment, terrorist threats, elder abuse, and damaging a phone to prevent a 911 call. He was taken to Solano County Jail with bail set at $45,000.

The Alabama man was recently arrested also on charges of elder abuse. Workers at the Elba Nursing Home called police concerning an incident involving a 63-year-old resident, who was later charged with first degree sexual assault. He is currently being held at the Coffee County Jail on $15,000 bond.

The case of sexual assault is being investigated by the Elba Police Department along with a district attorney’s office and the Alabama Department of Forensic Sciences. The assault was made around 3:20 a.m. on Tuesday, July 2, 2013. Both victim and suspect are residents of the Elba Nursing Home.

Meanwhile, in Pennsylvania, officials are concerned that elder abuse is on the rise in certain counties in the state, such as Perry County. Specifically, the financial exploitation of seniors through fraudulent lottery purchases and mail scams that target older adults. An employee of the Perry County Area Agency on Aging (AAA) stated that her agency has seen a significant spike in financial exploitation of older adults since the recession. In fact, they can barely keep up. The limited staff at AAA receive constant phone calls of exploitation, abuse, and self-neglect among senior citizens.

One such scam is the solicitation of foreign lottery scams, when seniors are asked to buy chances in a high-stakes foreign lottery, such as in Australia or Canada (the U.S. prohibits cross-border lottery purchases).

Other variations include informing individuals that they have already won a large sum and are required to spend their own money to receive the winnings. Scams like Canadian Lottery are, unfortunately, just one of the ways financial predators are reaching seniors.

Every year, according to a study by MetLife Mature Market Institute, American seniors are scammed out of nearly $3 billion. That is a 12% increase since 2008 estimates – a reflection of the country’s aging population, and of the proliferation of predators to scam them.

The majority of financial exploitation, however, is perpetrated by seniors’ family members, friends, or caregivers. One Pennsylvania social worker said that this elder abuse, including physical abuse, intimidation, confinement, and verbal, mental, and sexual abuse is happening more than he would ever want to admit. He further noted that although Americans would prefer not to think about it, we need to be more aware of the warning signs.

Some symptoms for a victim would be denial of a problem, confusion about medication, refusal to accept care from a caregiver, poor hygiene, and incontinence. Signs for an abuse include destroying property, unexplained high-cost purchases, and claiming a senior is incompetent, sick or crazy. Elder abuse usually involves the abuser isolating and controlling the victim so they are kept dependent.

Most elder abuse victims are female or have cognitive disabilities, such as dementia or Alzheimer’s -about 20% of abuse occurs in nursing homes. Any type of abuse against an adult over the age of 65 in Pennsylvania can be called into the statewide hotline at 1.800.490.8505. The caller’s identity will remain confidential and the information will be directed to the local AAA, which always has a protective services agent on-call.

Elder abuse lawyers at Pintas & Mullins have decades of experience advocating on behalf of victims of abuse, neglect, and exploitation. If you or a loved one was seriously injured by an nursing home employee or dangerous resident, you may be entitled to significant compensation for your pain and suffering.