What is Elder Abuse & Neglect, and How to Recognize It

Elder Abuse is the mistreatment of an elderly person which includes: physical abuse; emotional abuse; neglect; and financial abuse. Unfortunately, this type of abuse can happen anywhere; in households that are considered poor, middle class, or upper class households. Statistically, close friends or family members are often times the catalyst or actual culprits of the physical, emotional, physical, or financial abuse; thus, this type of abuse is usually extremely difficult to detect.

FINANCIAL ABUSE: this is the mismanagement of money, assets, or other tangible things or property belonging to a senior citizen. Protect yourself from this type of mismanagement by third parties. You can 1) cancel all credit cards you are not using; 2) never keep PIN Numbers in your wallet or in places of easy access; 3) never give out your ATM cards or credit cards–try to give out cash or reimburse with cash or check; and, 4) have a trusted family member or friend balance your books.

PHYSICAL ABUSE: this is the infliction of bodily injuries on a senior citizen. This can be detected if there are obvious lacerations; abrasions; welts; bruises; bone fractures; swelling; or suspicious discoloration. Also, you can sometimes notice cigarette burns, or burns from ropes or bonds; detached retina; head/scalp wounds; tenderness or pain upon merely touching the senior; or the senior becomes protective of the suspect or withdrawn.

NEGLECT OF AN ELDER: this is the failure of a caregiver to provide the senior with basic living needs which includes shelter; food; personal hygiene products; heating and air conditioning; & medical assistance. Statistically, unemployed adult children, or third parties with a criminal history may neglect their elder parents. You can find evidence of this type of neglect when the elder feels isolated by the caretaker, or is unable to spend time with other or speak freely; the senior shows signs of dehydration, or malnutrition; or the senior has a sudden and rapid weight loss; or, the elder does not have necessities like eye glasses, hearing aides, dentures, walkers, canes, prostheses, or other necessary items.

If you suspect neglect or abuse of an elder, please contact the Adult Protective Services by calling 1 (877) 4-R-Seniors, or your local police department. Then contact an experienced Elder Abuse Lawyer to help protect the Elder’s legal rights.
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