Elder Abuse: What you need to know

Elder abuse is a serious problem affecting millions of people worldwide. It can take many forms, including physical, emotional, sexual, financial, and neglect. It can have devastating consequences for the elderly person, including physical and mental health issues, loss of independence, and even death. In California alone, there are an estimated one million elder abuse victims.

Sadly, elder abuse does not always involve physical violence or theft. Financial exploitation can include taking advantage of an older person’s limited resources, such as their Social Security check or savings. The current definition of elder abuse includes any act or omission that results in physical, sexual, or emotional harm to an older person. An elder abuse lawyer can be the most ideal in unraveling the complexities linked with elder abuse.

What is Elder Abuse and neglect?

Any action or inaction that harms an elderly person or jeopardizes his or her health or wellbeing is commonly referred to as elder abuse. Senior mistreatment can occur at home, in a facility, or in the neighborhood. It can involve physical, emotional, financial, or sexual abuse.

Neglect on the other hand, is a type of elder abuse that occurs when a person fails to provide the basic needs necessary for an elderly person’s well-being. This might include providing adequate food, clothing, shelter and medical care. It can also involve neglectful supervision, leaving an elderly person alone, or not providing a safe environment. Whenever such scenarios arise, it’s in order to advise your loved ones to file for elder abuse claims in the court of law. 

Types of Abuse

Physical abuse: Any violent behavior or rough handling that results in harm or pain to the body. This might involve using chemical or physical confinement without authorization or in an improper manner.

Psychological Abuse: Occasionally, this is referred to as mental violence. Any act or behavior that could undermine an older individual’s sense of identity, respect, or self-worth is considered psychological abuse.

Financial Abuse: This is sometimes referred to as financial maltreatment. Financial abuse is the misappropriation of an elderly person’s assets and cash without their awareness and complete permission; or, in the case of an elderly person who is not cognitively competent, not in their best interests.

Victims of Elder Abuse

According to California’s law, an individual who is 65 years and above can be victims of elder abuse. Additionally, a dependent adult is a person between the ages of 18 and 64 who suffers from mental or bodily impairments that prevent them from carrying out daily tasks or defending themselves can also be a victim of elder abuse.

Elder Abuse

Who are the Abusers?

Family members, acquaintances, paid caregivers, landlords, employees, and anyone else in a place of confidence or power can abuse an elder. Most cases of senior abuse are started by a victim’s close relative. However, anyone who has a negative impact on an elderly person’s life can be classified as an abuser. Whenever elder abuse cases are filed; the abusers are usually prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Therefore, anyone who suspects that a loved one is abusing an elderly person should take action.

Effects of Elder Abuse

Health Effects: The health of senior people may be negatively impacted for a long time by abuse and neglect, which are significant sources of stress. Living with maltreatment or negligence can increase the likelihood of getting sick, make existing health issues worse, and raise the risk of dying young. Therefore, it is essential to take action and intervene if you suspect elder abuse or neglect. That way, you will have done everything you can to improve the health and well-being of your loved ones.

Financial Effects: Financial abuse can lead to the theft of a house, personal possessions, or money, leaving elders unable to afford meals, medicines, or transit. When offenders steal or manage an elderly person’s money or other property, the elderly may have reduced assets for caring for their own health, lodging, and activities. An elder abuse lawyer is essential when seeking compensation for losses.

Social Effects: Abuse and negligence can also have long-term consequences from one family to the next. The abuse and neglect of elderly citizens can result in social isolation, decreased productivity at work, and a loss of dignity. If you are aware of elder abuse or neglect happening in your community, please take action to report it. Reporting abuse to legal authorities not only protects the victim but also alerts law enforcement officials and the community to the issue so that it can be addressed.

What to do if you realize an elder is abused?

If you think someone is being abused or neglected by an elderly family member or friend, there are steps you can take to help protect them. First, talk to the person about what’s happening and encourage them to seek help. If they don’t want to get involved, encourage them to tell you if anything changes.

Steps to follow when helping an abused elder

When an individual is abused, they can report an elder abuse case to seek compensation for the damages caused. After reporting to the court, there are measures that can be taken to compensate the elderly. The court can issue a restriction order to protect the abused individuals from further damages. Secondly, the court can demand compensation for the losses incurred. A violation of California Criminal Code 484 PC Petty larceny occurs when you steal money, property, or services worth less than $950. 13 If you are suspected of financial elder abuse and the sum in issue is $950 or less, you may face petty theft and elder abuse charges.

Elders should be protected against any abuse that can harm them. Hence their lawyers and family members should report to the court in case of any instances of abuse.

Bottom Line

Understanding the elder abuse laws can be complex, so it’s important to have an experienced attorney on your side if you are involved in a case of elder abuse. An attorney can help you understand the law and navigate through the complicated system. Furthermore, a competent lawyer can advise you on the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones. If you are the victim of elder abuse, don’t hesitate to reach out for help.

* The articles provided on the Stalwart Law website are for informational purposes only and are not intended to be used as professional legal advice or as a substitute for legal consultation with a qualified attorney.  

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