What is elder abuse?
Elder abuse is any abuse and/or neglect of an elder or a dependent adult by a caregiver or another person in a trusted relationship.
An elder is someone 65 years or older. A dependent adult is someone between the ages of 18-64 that has certain mental or physical disabilities that prevent self-protection.
Injury to an elderly individual can be the result of recurrent abuse or a single event. Elder abuse can take several forms, such as: physical, financial, or verbal abuse; neglect; abandonment; isolation; abduction; or depriving an elder of something needed to avoid harm or mental suffering. Read more.
Why is elder abuse so common?
Elderly individuals are uniquely vulnerable. With age, elders become more physically frail and less mentally sharp. As a result, they are less able to defend themselves physically against bullying or attackers, and their inability to see/hear/remember as clearly as they used to allows others to take advantage of them.
Elders are in a uniquely vulnerable position and often do not recognize or report their abuse.
In addition, elders often rely on family members and caretakers to tend to their most basic needs, such as feeding and hygiene. Because of this reliance, elderly victims frequently do not report elder abuse for fear they will be abandoned, left to care for themselves, or retaliated against by their abuser.
Where does elder abuse take place?
Elder abuse tends to take place where the senior lives: most often in the home where abusers are typically adult children, other family members such as grandchildren, or spouses/partners of elders. Elder abuse can also occur in institutional settings, especially long-term care facilities (nursing homes).
What are the signs of elder abuse?
Initially, it may difficult to recognize the signs of elder abuse. While these signs often overlap with symptoms of old age (dementia or frailty), unexplained injury, unusual weight loss, or suspicious financial activity should not automatically be seen as part of “getting old.” Warning signs of elder abuse include:
- Frequent arguments or tension between the caregiver and the elderly person
- Changes in the elder’s personality, behavior, or physical condition
If you suspect elder abuse, but aren’t sure, look for clusters of physical and behavioral signs.
How can Korn Law Group help?
If you or a loved one is injured or taken advantage of, it is important to seek the prompt advice of an experienced attorney to discuss the abuse, the ways to prevent future abuse, and the recovery process.
Our firm is sensitive to the emotional nature of elder abuse. Our goal is to maximize your recovery while minimizing any stress that might result from enduring a lawsuit.
By requesting a free, no-obligation consultation (either in person or by phone), we can identify your potential damages and assets to aid in recovery. When an injury occurs there are many important steps to take, from deciding whether to initiate a lawsuit to evaluating your damages and properly planning your recovery. Let our experience help you through this process.