Elder abuse ranges from abandonment or neglect to emotional or physical abuse. Another family member or a caregiver may be taking money from an older relative for personal gain. It’s estimated that approximately five million older adults are victims of abuse, yet only seven percent of these cases are reported.
The best way to prevent elder abuse is by recognizing the signs. To do that, you need to understand the different types.
Types of Elder Abuse
Financial exploitation is a biggie. Have your parents gotten a call saying they owe money to the IRS and will go to jail if they do not pay it right now? Did they fall for it? That’s one type of financial exploitation. A family member taking money from a savings account is another example.
Physical abuse is probably one you don’t need to be explained, but there’s also emotional abuse. Emotional abuse involves verbal threats and intimidation. Telling an older adult that they’ll be sent to a nursing home if they don’t stop crying is emotional abuse.
If an older adult is kept locked in a room or tied to a bed or chair to make life easier, it’s abuse. Confinement abuse cases can also be caused by refusing to allow friends or other family members from getting to see an older person.
Deprivation and neglect are also forms of abuse. If a person deliberately denies food or necessary medications to an older adult to save money, it’s abuse. Neglect can be refusing to take an older adult to see a doctor, allowing an infection to go untreated, or refusing to arrange home care for a parent who needs help with daily activities.
How Can You Tell if Your Parent is a Victim of Elder Abuse?
Keep a close eye on your parents’ bank accounts. If there are transactions that they don’t remember making, investigate them. If you see frequent small cash withdrawals or transfers to another person, look into them.
Check for unexplained bruises, cuts, or scrapes. If you ask your mom or dad, they may not admit to how they happened. It may be tempting to install “granny cams” to see if your parents are being mistreated or abused, you do need to understand the legalities as secretly recording others without their permission can violate privacy laws.
When elder abuse is suspected, it’s best to take immediate action. Your mom or dad shouldn’t have to suffer because you’re not certain. Don’t let neglect or abuse progress if possible. If something tragic has happened, don’t dismiss it. Talk to an elder law attorney and ask about possible actions to protect your parent or keep it from happening to someone else.
If you or a loved need assistance with Elder Law in Homewood, AL contact Nolan Elder Law & Estate Planning today. (205) 390-0101