Every year, cases of elderly abuse are reported in high numbers. When one considers that the victims are usually frail and vulnerable, usually unable to help themselves and often depend on others to meet even their most basic needs, the unfortunate and all too frequent recurrence of abuse cries for closer examination.
Elder Abuse involves the knowing, intentional, or negligent act by a caregiver that causes harm or a serious risk of harm to a dependent adult. Legislatures in all 50 states have passed some form of elder abuse prevention laws. Elder abuse is so common and these laws so complex that there are attorneys who specialize as elder law attorneys.
Common forms of Elder Abuse
- Physical Abuse—inflicting physical pain or injury on a senior.
- Sexual Abuse—non-consensual sexual contact of any kind.
- Neglect—the failure by those responsible to provide food, shelter, health care, or protection for a vulnerable elder.
- Exploitation—the illegal taking, misuse, or concealment of funds, property, or assets of a senior for someone else’s benefit.
- Emotional Abuse—inflicting mental pain, anguish, or distress on an elderly person through verbal or nonverbal acts
- Abandonment—desertion of a vulnerable elder by anyone who has assumed the responsibility for care or custody of that person.
Adult Protective Services
Adult Protective Services (APS) is the principal public agency responsible for both investigating reported cases of elder abuse and for providing victims with treatment and protective services. If the investigators find abuse or neglect, they arrange for services to help protect the victim.
How to Speak to Your Loved Ones About Elder Abuse
If you suspect a loved one may be a victim of elder abuse, discuss your concerns with the person and encourage him or her to share any apprehensions now or at any time in the future. Reassure your family member that you are there to listen and assist in whatever way possible. Sometimes the elderly may be unwilling to discuss elder abuse due to embarrassment, stigma, or even medical conditions. Remind your loved one that you will continue to be there for them and that you are there to protect them from harm.
Contacting an Elder Law Attorney for Help
Elder abuse cases are regulated by complex rules and often require expert medical evaluations. If you need help with an elder abuse case, contact an experienced elder law attorney at the Law Offices of Christopher B Johnson today.