Tips for Spotting Elder Abuse
Personal Injury Lawyer
Elder abuse is a real issue that is not often discussed within our society. Considering the extent of the problem and the fact that national demographics show an aging population, it is critical to be aware of the risks of senior mistreatment.
Elder abuse encompasses the exploitation, neglect, and emotional, physical, and sexual abuse of elders. Laws define elder abuse as the willful infliction of physical pain, injury, or mental anguish. It also includes the willful deprivation by a senior’s caretaker of any services that are necessary to maintain their mental and physical health. Most state’s elder abuse laws require specific professional to report suspected abuse to the Department of Social Services.
What Are the Different Types of Elder Abuse?
Elder abuse is often divided into two different categories, institutional and domestic. Institutional abuse is elder mistreatment that takes place in residential facilities, including assisted living homes, nursing home facilities, group homes, and other similar locations. A person who has a legal obligation to provide care or protection for the abused is the sort of individual that typically conducts institutional abuse.
Alternatively, domestic elder abuse is elder mistreatment perpetrated by a family member, friend, or caregiver. Six common forms of elder abuse include physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, as well as neglect, abandonment, and exploitation. Even the “threat” of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse can be included under the spectrum of elder abuse.
What Are the Signs of Elder Abuse?
Elder abuse is a difficult issue in this country because our elder population is often isolated from the rest of society. However, those that interact with the elderly, and/or have elderly family members, should be aware of the warning signs of elder abuse. The warning signs of physical abuse can include unexplained bruises, broken bones, and pressure marks. An elder may withdrawal from typical activities or exhibit out-of-character depression.
Changes in an elder’s economic situation could be sign that the elder is being exploited for their money and/or assets. Neglect can be evidenced by bad hygiene, rampant bedsores, medical needs that are not being treated, and weight loss. Belittling behavior and threats utilized by a caregiver against an elder are also signs of elder abuse, as well as strained relationships with a caregiver or family member.
Elder abuse is a real family law issue that must be addressed. Hopefully the above tips for spotting elder abuse will assist you in protecting our country’s most vulnerable citizens. At times, it may be appropriate to take action against abusers to help a senior move into more appropriate living situations. Guardianship proceedings may need to be pursued in certain situations in order to help a senior receive proper support.
If you suspect your loved one has been the victim of elder abuse, contact a nursing home abuse lawyer today to find out how they can help. Not only are criminal charges against the abuser possible, but your loved one may also be able to pursue a civil case for financial compensation, as well.