Video: Watch Kerry Peck interviewed on Chicago Tonight with Phil Ponce, on the topic of Dementia and Caregivers

Managing Partner Kerry Peck was interviewed on Chicago Tonight with Phil Ponce. The interview discusses financial abuse and specifically, caregiver abuse:

“The most common financial abuse cases that we see are caregiver abuse cases. The typical scenario is an older adult is left one-on-one with a 24/7 caregiver. You see a lot of women taking advantage of elderly men in what develops into being an intimate relationship.”

If you suspect that your loved one has been the victim of caregiver abuse, contact an experienced elder care abuse attorney of Peck Ritchey, LLC today.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedIn

The Basics of Elder Abuse

Millions of vulnerable seniors are victims of elder abuse every year. Abuse most often comes in the form of financial exploitation, physical or sexual abuse, active or passive neglect, confinement, isolation, or willful deprivation of medical care, food, water or physical assistance.

Oftentimes such cases are suffered through by individuals who have dementia or Alzheimer’s, or those who have a physical impairment that causes them to have a heavy dependence on others. These individuals can experience a sense of helplessness, but prevention programs to stop elder abuse are slowly becoming more common. The biggest step families can take to prevent elder abuse is to listen and stay educated about issues surrounding aging family members.

At Peck Ritchey, LLC, our Chicago elder abuse and neglect lawyers are committed to protecting the rights of Chicago’s elderly population and we will aggressively pursue action against those who exploit the elderly in Chicago. To discuss the particulars of your circumstances with one of our experienced attorneys, please call (855) 328-5787 today.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedIn

Understanding elder abuse and neglect

Aging individuals — especially those who have serious medical conditions — are susceptible to neglect and abuse at the hands of caregivers. Though the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is aware that over 500,000 older adults face abuse or neglect every year, they believe that the crime is seriously unreported.

Family members might suspect that their elderly loved one is experiencing abuse if he or she has visible bodily injuries like wounds, bruises, lacerations and head injuries. Aside from physical injuries, the CDC notes that sexual, financial, and emotional abuse may go undetected, but can and do happen to nursing home residents. Neglect is more difficult to detect, and cases of neglect are often complicated depending on the person’s physical or mental state. Family members who believe that their elderly loved one is being abused or neglected should understand that they have the right to file a legal claim against negligent parties.

The lawyers at Peck Ritchey, LLC understand that many elderly people suffer serious injuries as a result of abuse and neglect. If you think this is happening to your loved one, we may be able to offer you the legal assistance you need to hold malicious caregivers accountable. Call our office at (855) 328-5787 to learn more about your legal options.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedIn

Elderly Americans victims of family financial abuse

There are currently three known cases of identity theft in Tazewell County, IL alone in which the accused stole thousands of dollars from their elderly parents.

Many older individuals trust their grown children to handle their finances responsibly and use their savings to pay for medical care and nursing home expenses. Unfortunately, responsible decisions are not always made. For example, 37-year-old Tina Roten used her mother’s Social Security information and name to open a credit card, on which she charged over $10,000. Her mother found out about the charges only after her credit tanked. In the other cases, family members have discovered financial abuse after their loved one’s bank accounts were drained to only a few dollars. If convicted, those accused could face up to 15 years in prison.

Sadly, older Americans are prime targets for identity theft, and far too frequently are victims of their own family members. If you or another member of your family has been a victim of elder financial abuse, contact the lawyers of Peck Ritchey, LLC, at (855) 328-5787 so we can help end the abuse.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedIn

Nursing home blamed for failure to protect in lawsuit

According to a report by Cook County Record on February 5, Wilene Jones, a resident of Cook County, is accusing South Suburban Rehabilitation Center LLC and Central Street Management LLC of failing to protect her from abuse committed against her by her roommate. The lawsuit was apparently filed on February 3 in Cook County Circuit Court and accused the two companies of negligence under the Nursing Home Care Act.

Details from the lawsuit reveal that Jones was a patient at South Suburban Rehab from January 2014 until December 2015. She reportedly suffered a fractured left hip, left femur, and several other injuries after her roommate abused her while a resident at the facility. The care facility allegedly failed to protect her from the incidents.

Jones is seeking damages of $100,000 for pain and suffering, disability and disfigurement, emotional trauma, and medical expenses, according to the report.

Elder abuse can take many forms, all of them reprehensible. If you believe that you or someone you love has been a victim of elder abuse, get help immediately by contacting the experienced attorneys of Peck Ritchey, LLC, by calling our Chicago offices today at (855) 328-5787.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedIn

Types of Elder Abuse

Elder abuse can happen anywhere. As seniors become more frail over time, they become less able to defend themselves from different kinds of attacks. Sadly, there are many people out there who see this weakness as an opportunity to abuse, neglect, or take advantage of elderly individuals. There are three different categories of abuse that elderly victims may suffer:

  • Emotional abuse – This category usually involves an attacker causing emotional distress or mental anguish to elderly victims. The most common form of emotional abuse is verbal, and may manifest as yelling, humiliation, blaming, and threatening. Nonverbal emotional abuse includes isolating, terrorizing, and ignoring the elderly victim.
  • Sexual abuse – This is when intimate contact is made without permission or consent from the victim. This form of abuse may include instances that are sexually suggestive, like the exposure to pornographic materials.
  • Physical abuse – This is perhaps the most common form of elder abuse, and it is characterized as any non-accidental use of force that leads to the elder’s physical pain or injury.

Unfortunately, the care facilities we entrust our elderly loved ones to are often the settings for these types of abuse or neglect. If your loved one has suffered as a result of a nursing home staff member’s actions or behavior in Chicago, do not hesitate to speak with our lawyers at Peck Ritchey, LLC. Call us now at (855) 328-5787 to let us put a stop to this abuse.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedIn

Social media photos pose privacy violation threat to care facility patients

On December 21, 2015, the Chicago Tribune posted an article about the rampant abuse of nursing home patients that is taking place on a digital canvas. According to ProPublica, there were at least 35 cases of nursing home and care facility workers posting embarrassing photos of elderly patients since 2012.

Aside from being especially heinous and despicable, the posting of these pictures and videos violates the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Ace as well as the patients’ right to privacy. While there are cases in which the posting of such photos led to criminal charges, there are also instances where aggressors were not held accountable for their actions.

These instances may predict an upsetting future threat of social media to patients’ safety and privacy if they are continually humiliated by staff members who should be trustworthy and compassionate. Abuse is by no means a new phenomenon in nursing home facilities, but social media shaming is a new animal when it comes to assisted living and elderly care homes.

If your loved one has suffered from any form of mistreatment or abuse in a Chicago nursing home, do not hesitate to contact an aggressive lawyer at Peck Ritchey, LLC who will pursue charges against the abuser to the fullest extent of the law. Call us at (855) 328-5787 today to let us begin seeking justice for your family.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedIn

Casey Kasem’s family sues his widow for elder abuse

Famed actor and radio personality Casey Kasem’s brother and three children from a previous marraiage filed a wrongful death lawsuit against his widow, Jean Kasem. Casey’s family filed the suit in a Los Angeles Superior Court and accused Jean Kasem of inflicting emotional distress and elder abuse on their father. Jean apparently prohibited Casey’s children from contacting him as his illness worsened in 2013.

The lawsuit said that Casey’s death was a result of Jean’s physical abuse and neglect. It also detailed accounts of Jean abandoned Casey in several hospitals for days after he was set to be discharged. The deceased star’s children also claim that Jean ignored Casey’s request to be buried in a Los Angeles cemetery and instead sent his body to Norway where it was laid to rest in an unmarked grave.

Casey Kasem died in 2014 after years of suffering from a form of dementia, bedsores, and several other illnesses. His children hope to spread awareness about elder abuse through their lawsuit.

If you know someone who is suffering from any form of elder abuse in Chicago, please talk to our attorneys at Peck Ritchey, LLC. Call us now at (855) 328-5787.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedIn

Nursing Home Injuries: How Elder Law Attorneys Can Help

Elder abuse can occur in many forms including physical harm, emotional abuse, neglect and financial exploitation. If a family member is staying in a nursing home and signs of abuse begin to surface, do you know what legal steps to take to ensure justice for your family?

An elder law attorney can assist your family with finding the proper care for your family members through various methods including estate planning and guardianship.

If your relative has been injured or neglected at their nursing home, or other facility, our attorneys will work with agencies and assist with placing them in a safe environment. They also work closely with personal injury firms to settle estates and arrange settlements to maximize their future care.

It’s important to understand the best care options for your elderly relatives. Consult with an elder law attorney at Peck Ritchey, LLC to find out what steps you should take to ensure the safety of your loved ones. Peck Ritchey LLC’s attorneys understand the stress that victims and their families face after a nursing home injury and take pride in providing efficient, courteous and informed services to their clients.

For a no-cost consultation with an attorney call (855) 328-5787.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedIn

Elder Abuse is a Serious Issue That is Not Going Away

I was reading the news this week and was shocked to see an egregious case of elder abuse right in our backyard. Although as an elder law attorney I see cases of elder abuse every day, it is not often enough that they are publicized in the news.

The Chicago Sun Times reported that three siblings in Aurora, Illinois neglected their elderly mother to the point that when medical professionals evaluated her- her leg had to be amputated from Gangrene and  a 3-inch deep open wound was found in her back. All three children had a criminal history- ranging from drunk driving records to drug manufacturing.

The article’s author, Erika Wurst, sites the staggering statistics. Wurst writes, “more than 76,000 Illinois residents over the age of 60 are elder abuse victims. However, only 8,000 elderly victims are reported to the Elder Abuse and Neglect Program annually. “

Although in this case, the law has now stepped in to appoint a guardian and ensure this senior is protected, it still raises the question I always pose and have yet to receive an answer: How can we prevent our children from abusing their own parents?

Also, how can we ensure seniors in our community are provided with wellness checks and cases of elder abuse are prevented, or caught before it is too late? Recently, our firm joined a group that is aiming to do just that- ensure seniors who are living independently have the resources and support  to live a healthy life. The Chicago non-profit group is called “Lincoln Park Village” and they provide vetted volunteer and referral services to older adults such as: housekeeping, home health, wellness evaluations and transportation.

I appreciated this group’s mission because elder abuse can only be solved with a community effort. It takes a team of people: elder law attorneys, guardians,  geriatricians, social workers, nurses, case managers, home health agencies, and more to make sure each seniors well being is protected.

Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on Google+Share on LinkedIn