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Is Your Loved One a Victim of Elder Abuse

Is your loved one a victim of elder abuse? While no amount of monetary compensation could ever take away or undue the hurt and pain your loved one has suffered, you probably feel like the person or facility guilty of abusing your loved one should be held accountable.

If this is the case, the right thing to do is to talk to a personal injury attorney and have your loved one’s case evaluated at no cost or obligation to you.

What is elder abuse? How is it defined?

Any form

Elder abuse is any form of mistreatment that results in loss or harm to an older person. Elder abuse is doing anything or failing to do something that results in harm coming to an elderly person or that places a helpless elderly person in a place of risk for being harmed.

Elder abuse can involve many things. It is generally divided into these categories:

Physical abuse - This is physical force that results in bodily pain, injury or impairment. It may include assault, battery, and inappropriate restraint.
Psychological abuse - This is willfully inflicting emotional or mental anguish by means of humiliation, threats or other verbal or nonverbal actions
Financial abuse - This is any kind of improper or illegal use of the property, resources or funds of an older person
Sexual abuse - This is any kind of sexual contact with an older person that is not consensual.
Domestic violence - This is an escalating pattern of violence that is committed by an intimate partner for the purpose of exercising control and power over an older person.
Neglect - This is the failure of a caregiver to carry out there care giving duties.

Elder abuse may occur in several different places. It can take place in nursing homes or hospitals. To make matters worse, it can also occur in a home by a member of an elderly person’s family. The sad and shocking fact is that in cases where there were known abusers, 90 percent involved family members.

The real tragedy is that elder abuse may be a much larger problem than we are aware of. Research indicates that more than one in ten elders may be a victim of some type of abuse. However, just one in five or fewer cases are reported. This is an indication that many people who are victims of elder abuse are not getting the help they need and deserve.

Some warning signs of elder abuse include:

Bed sores, unusual weight loss or unsanitary living conditions
Unexplained indications of injury, such as welts, bruises or scars
A sudden and unexpected decline in health
Missing items or cash, or large withdrawals from an older person’s bank account
A sudden change in temperament or mood
Being left alone for extended periods of time
Improper use of restraints
Inadequate food
Appearing dirty or disheveled
Improper sedation.

Again, if you believe or suspect that your loved one is a victim of elder abuse, the wise thing to do is to talk to a personal injury attorney and have your loved one’s case evaluated at no cost or obligation to you.

Article written by James Shugart

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