Dudensing Law offers legal representation for victims of elder abuse in San Francisco and the Bay Area. As one of the only law firms in Northern California dedicated exclusively to elder abuse in nursing homes, Dudensing Law’s singular expertise and track record speaks for itself.

One Cause: Representing Victims of Elder Abuse in Nursing Homes

Most elder law attorneys in San Francisco and the Bay Area handle a wide range of legal matters pertaining to older people. Very few are focused solely on representing victims of elder abuse in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other elder care facilities.

Ed Dudensing is one of the few dedicated nursing home abuse lawyers in Northern California, and the only one with a consistent track record of landmark results at the local, state, and national levels.

  • Largest nursing home verdict in the history of the greater San Francisco Bay Area & Sacramento area
  • Largest assisted living facility verdict in the history of the greater San Francisco Bay Area & Sacramento area
  • Second largest nursing home verdict in the history of California
  • Largest assisted living facility verdict in the history of California
  • Only one of four attorneys nationwide with three top twenty elder abuse verdicts
  • Largest assisted living facility verdict in the nation

Elder abuse in nursing homes: An invisible epidemic

Nursing home residents and their caregivers interact with each other on a frequent basis. This increases the risk of elder abuse among an already-vulnerable population. And because victims are often unable to speak out, much abuse goes unreported.

Statistics on elder abuse in nursing homes likely represent a small fraction of the true scale of the problem. According to California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform, for every incident of reported abuse, more than 20 go unreported. As conservative as the reported figures are, they are alarming, with more than 40% of nursing home residents reporting some type of abuse, and 90% reporting their own or a fellow resident’s neglect.

The disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on our most vulnerable citizens brought fresh public attention to numerous pre-existing, previously ignored problems in the elder care system. In April 2020, a Mercury News article documenting the mishandling of the first wave of infections in two Bay Area nursing homes, summarized the crisis:

“Lack of controls to stop dangerous infections. Not enough personal protective equipment for caregivers. Staffing so thin the facility can’t provide proper care for patients. Frequent situations that put the frail and elderly at even greater risk of getting sick and dying. General chaos… would you want your loved one in a nursing home like that?”

Experts say the dangerously sub-standard conditions within these two nursing homes have existed for years. They’re far from the only elder care facilities to operate under such conditions.

Happily, California’s vaccine rollout has precipitated a steep decline in nursing home infections and deaths related to the virus. Whether nursing homes respond constructively and compassionately to the grave conditions exposed by the pandemic – by enforcing tighter infection controls and raising overall care standards – remains to be seen. Elder care advocates hope the lessons of 2020 are used as an opportunity to reappraise business practices, mitigate the effects of future pandemics, and tackle the massive problem of elder abuse in our nursing homes.

How to Identify Elder Abuse in Nursing Homes

The signs of elder abuse are frequently overlooked by health professionals and family members. Victims are often reluctant to report abuse out of fear of retaliation, or because they don’t want to get perpetrators into trouble. Cognitive or physical disabilities are other common reasons behind the non-reporting of elder abuse incidents.

If you have a loved one in a nursing home, assisted living facility, memory care center, or any other type of Long Term Care facility for seniors, it’s important to recognize some of the common indicators of elder abuse and neglect.

Elder Abuse Resources

If you or a loved one has experienced elder abuse, neglect, exploitation or other mistreatment, here are some organizations that can help.

Alzheimer’s Association of Northern California & Northern Nevada
800-272-3900 (24/7 Helpline)
Leading the fight against Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia through global research, risk reduction, and early detection.

Bay Area Caregiver Resource Center
(415) 434-3388
(800) 445-8106
Family Caregiver Alliance supports and assists caregivers of adults with chronic or disabling health conditions. Serving Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara Counties.

Redwood Caregiver Resource Center
800-272-3900 (24/7 Helpline)
(707) 542-0282
(800) 834-1636
Family Caregiver Alliance supports and assists caregivers of adults with chronic or disabling health conditions. Serving Del Norte, Humboldt, Lake, Mendocino, Napa, Solano, and Sonoma Counties.

Department of Disability and Aging Services (DAS)
(415) 355-6700 (24 hours)
(800) 814-0009 (24 hours)
24-hour hotline to report elder abuse in San Francisco. Calls can be confidential or anonymous. Staffed by social workers qualified to assess a situation and take necessary steps to assist victims.

Aging and Disability Resource Center (ARDC) of San Francisco
A resource center with 14 locations in and around San Francisco, accommodating various languages, with services and information on elder rights.

Alameda County Social Services Elder Abuse Hotline
(510) 577-3500
24-hour elder abuse hotline for assistance with physical and financial elder abuse and neglect.

Santa Clara County Adults Protective Services
(408) 975-4900
Report acts of elder abuse in Santa Clara County to gain help and resources.

Information center advising those who suspect elder abuse or neglect.

California Department of Aging
Recognize the warning signs of elder abuse. For elder abuse specific to nursing homes, rehab centers, care facilities or adult day programs, contact Long-Term Care Ombudsman CRISIS-line: 1-800-231-4024

California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform
(800) 474-1116
(415) 974-5171
Fact sheets in English, Spanish and Chinese on a range of topics relevant to elder abuse in California nursing homes.

To receive a free case evaluation from an nursing home abuse lawyer in San Francisco/Bay Area, or the Greater Sacramento Area, contact our head office in Downtown Sacramento.

Call 916-448-6400, submit a contact form, or live chat with us using the button on the bottom right of your screen.