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Elderly Statutory Protections

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What are Elderly Statutory Protections?

Elderly statutory protections give the elderly the legal right to file a claim against a private party or entity for certain violations that affect the elderly as a class of protected people.  Most of these elder laws have to do with long-term care in a nursing home facility, though they can also cover many other aspects of life (such as employment). 

Some elderly statutory protections include: 

  • Unfair nursing home policies
  • Discrimination against nursing home residents
  • Instances of abuse
  • Cases involving elder neglect
  • Violations involving exploitation of the elderly 
  • Issues involving Medicare or Medicaid

While state definitions of violations can vary, violations can often include a wide range of conduct that harms the elderly.  This is especially true of the definition of “elder abuse”, which can include anything from physical acts of harm to emotional or psychological abuse and intimidation. 

What are Remedies for Violating Elderly Statutes?

In most cases, elderly statutes allow the victim to obtain a damages award for their losses.  This will help them to recover costs like medical expenses and court fees.  Here, the victim would need to show that that the defendant is responsible for their losses or injuries.  This may require extensive documentation on the part of the victim. 

In other, more wide-spread violations, the court may issue an injunction, restraining order, or other type of court order to prevent broad cases of abuse.  An example of this is where the court issues an injunction requiring an employer to change discriminatory hiring policies.

What is “Exploitation of the Elderly”?

Some states have statues that address the concern of “exploitation of the elderly”.  This is where a person, care home, business, employer, or other party takes advantage of an elderly person.  For example, some violations occur where a care home employee takes advantage of an elderly person’s lack of mental capacity due to aging.  This can lead to theft of the elderly person’s belongings, or theft of their assets. 

In more elaborate schemes, exploitation can involve having the elder person sign forms or purchase items because they are not aware of the overall consequences of such decisions.  Again, states may define such violations differently, but they usually provide similar avenues for legal recovery.  Exploitation of the elderly may require a lawyer or a representative to help with the claim, especially where the victim is truly unable to comprehend the legal issues involved in the situation.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Help With Elderly Statutory Protections?

Statutory protections for the elderly have undergone much revision over the recent years.  If you or your loved one needs assistance with elder laws, you should contact a lawyer for advice.  Your attorney can explain any new developments in this area of law, and can advise you on your legal course of action.  In the event that you need to file a lawsuit, your attorney can provide you with legal representation during court proceedings.

Photo of page author Ken LaMance

, LegalMatch Law Library Managing Editor and Attorney at Law

Last Modified: 10-17-2012 02:35 PM PDT

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