It’s a sad truth that one in every ten elders aged over 60 has experienced some form of abuse. Despite various laws for protecting elders’ rights in place, the cases of elder abuse and negligence are increasing. So, what is elder abuse, and when should I contact an elder abuse attorney near me?
What is elder abuse?
Elder abuse may range from physical, emotional, financial, or sexual damage caused to an older adult. When a person or people looking after an older adult intentionally inflict harm to them or cause serious risk to their life, it is considered elder abuse.
As a person ages, they become physically frail and cannot take care of their health and finances all on their own. Besides this, they are susceptible to mental and physical ailments that further render them incapacitated. Some elders lose their vision or hearing ability, which makes them more vulnerable to unscrupulous people who may take advantage of their disabilities.
It has been noted that elder abuse happens where a senior resides. It could be their home, nursing home, or care facility. Most of the time, the abusers are either children, family members, partners, or care providers.
Everyone is entitled to a safe and healthy life. Since older people are more vulnerable to abuse, you must be aware of the elder law and signs of elder abuse if you care for an older person.
Understanding the types of elder abuse is essential when identifying the issue. If you care for an elder and suspect they have undergone any abuse, you must take appropriate steps before reporting the matter.
Types of elder abuse
Physical Abuse: When an elderly is inflicted or threatened to be inflicted with physical injuries or pain, it is considered physical abuse. Physical abuse also includes the act of depriving an elderly of his basic needs.
Emotional Abuse: When an elderly is caused by mental pain or anguish through oral or physical acts, it is considered emotional abuse. Humiliation, ridicule, threatening, isolation are some of the acts that can inflict emotional suffering to an elderly and are considered abuse.
Sexual Abuse: Any contact with the elderly without their agreement is considered sexual abuse.
Exploitation: Use or concealment of an elder’s fund and assets without their knowledge and consent is regarded as exploitation.
How to know if an elder has been abused?
When it comes to identifying signs of elder abuse, one may mistake the symptoms for mental deterioration. Many elder abuse signs look like symptoms of dementia. However, one should not dismiss these signs if you suspect elder abuse.
There are some common signs of elder abuse that one can look for when identifying the issue’s cause.
- Physical trauma, broken bones, or bruises experienced by the older adult.
- Change in personality or emotion that can be explained.
- The change in the financial situation may allow one to look for signs of exploitation.
- Poor hygiene, bedsores, or improper medication may indicate negligence.