What is elder abuse?
According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, there are six major forms of elder mistreatment:
– Physical abuse—Causing or threatening to cause physical harm to an elder or withholding essential care;
– Emotional abuse—Causing a vulnerable elderly person mental pain through verbal and non-verbal means;
– Sexual abuse—Nonconsensual sexual contact with an elder or forcing him or her to witness such activity;
– Exploitation—“ Illegal taking, misuse, or concealment of funds, property, or assets of a vulnerable elder”;
– Neglect—Failure to supply shelter, health care, food, or protection by a responsible person; and
– Abandonment—Desertion by someone responsible for caring for an elder.
What are the warning signs that an elder person is being abused?
– Behavior changes, including withdrawing from contact with others or agitation;
– Signs that the elder is afraid;
– Untreated injuries; and
– Missing personal property or unexplained charges on bank or credit card statements.
Who is the typical perpetrator of elder abuse?
Elder abuse can happen at the hands of anyone, whether a family member of an elder, a stranger or a paid caregiver.
What is self-neglect?
Self-neglect occurs when an elderly person fails to care for him or herself. When an elder who is living on their own starts to show signs of self-neglect it may be time to consider a long-term care facility. But unchecked self-neglect in a nursing facility may be the responsibility of staff and management at the home.
What should I do if I suspect that an elderly loved one is being abused?
The first step is to make every effort to remove him or her from the abusive situation. That may require intervention by a competent elder abuse litigation attorney. Call our office for a consultation.