One in six adults over 60 years of age experiences elder abuse in a community home, nursing facility, or another community setting. The risk of abuse increases substantially in long-term care.
Elderly folks are already a vulnerable population, and abuse tends to further isolate the victim. That’s why if your elderly loved one receives help from other people, you must be able to identify if and when their care turns abusive.
It’s hard to navigate abuse situations, especially involving adults who may have mental and physical health issues. When your elderly family member or friend’s well-being is at stake, getting help from an elder abuse lawyer might be a good idea.
Read on to find out when exactly an elder abuse lawyer can be useful.
Types of Elder Abuse
Elder abuse involves the causing of physical, emotional, or mental pain. There are many different types of elder abuse and its definition is expansive to cover situations of neglect, financial manipulation and control, and lack of necessary health and social services.
Elder abuse doesn’t just include those who depend on others for care. Elders who are targets of abuse solely based on age fall into this category.
Spotting the Signs
If you’re told to look out for signs of elder abuse, it might sound like there would be glaring red flags to look out for. This isn’t always the case.
Whether you have an elderly parent living in a senior nursing community, or you might suspect elder abuse elsewhere, it’s important to be able to look out for all of the different signs of elder abuse. Abuse comes in many forms and may not present as the obvious bruises and broken bones that you expect.
Be sure to look out for any physical presentations of abuse. There may be bruising in several areas, more injuries than expected with health conditions, and more.
Signs of neglect include poor hygiene, weight loss, dirty environment, and refusal of certain necessary medical equipment and treatment.
If you have access to insurance information and transaction history, any unexplained loss of money or use of medical services you aren’t familiar with could be a sign.
Behavior in elders can be tricky to assess, given the declining state of the brain as we age, but we can keep an eye out for a few obvious things. You might want to intervene with appropriate support if they’re withdrawing from friends and family, or experiencing a new occurrence or a worsening mental health condition.
When to Get Help
An elder abuse lawyer can help navigate financial documents, personal records, and more. They’re able to handle the bureaucratic hurdles so that you can be able to best support your elderly loved one.
Legal help also may be of great use when age discrimination occurs. If you want to understand exactly what an elder abuse lawyer does and how they can help, you can learn more here.
Find an Elder Abuse Lawyer
In any of the above abuse situations, an elder abuse lawyer can help distinguish what is considered abuse, what rights the individual has, and what steps can be made to right the wrong.
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