Elder abuse is the neglect or abuse of an older person. Older adults are more vulnerable to abuse for a number of reasons. Because of their age, they may be more socially isolated or mentally impaired. There is also evidence suggesting that some abuse of the elderly is caused by family and caregivers. The National Elder Abuse Incidence Study has reported that 500,000 Americans over the age of 60 were victims of abuse in 1996.
What Kinds of Elder Abuse Are There?
The abuse can be physical or mental, and definitions of elder abuse may vary from state to state. Such abuse generally includes:
- Physical Abuse
- Emotional Abuse
- Sexual Abuse
Many states include financial exploitation under elder abuse. Neglect is the most common type of abuse.
What Are the Warning Signs of Elder Abuse?
There are many potential warning signs of elder abuse, including:
- Bruises, marks, broken bones, etc.
- Unexplained withdrawal from normal activities or depression
- Sudden changes in financial situation
- Indicators of possible neglect (i.e. bedsores)
- Strained or tense relationships
These signs may not appear at first or all at once. Instead, these are warnings that long-term care abuse may be taking place.
Seeking Legal Help
If you or someone you love is a victim of elder abuse you should strongly consider contacting an experienced personal injury lawyer. A personal injury lawyer can help you get that person out of danger and sue the abuser for damages. You should also contact the police if the elderly person is in danger.