Know Your Mom’s Rights if You Suspect Elder Abuse

Elder Law Centerpoint, AL: Elder Abuse
Elder Law Centerpoint, AL: Elder Abuse

Elder abuse includes physical, mental, emotional, and financial practices that cause harm. Statistically, abusers are more likely to be family members, but they can be caregivers, aides, neighbors, and other people with some tie to your parent. If you suspect your mom is the victim of elder abuse, it’s important to understand her rights and what to do next. 
Make Sure She’s Safe 
As soon as you suspect elder abuse, make sure your mom is safe. If that means moving her to your home or a hotel for now, do so. If she lives in her home, change the locks or change the entry code on a digital keypad. If the abuser also lives with your mom, talk to an attorney and local police about the eviction process. 
Seek Medical Care 
If you suspect your mom is being abused, take her to an urgent care clinic, ER, or her doctor. Have her checked for any injuries or signs of abuse. Make sure her injuries are treated and see about having her referred to a specialist in abuse for counseling. 
Ask that a report be documented with photographs and make sure she gets a copy. If you’re named as her agent on medical power of attorney documents, you’ll have the right to ask for a copy for your records. You want this to bring to the police. 
Freeze Bank Accounts and Get Other Protective Measures in Place 
If the abuse was financial, put a credit freeze in place with the different credit bureaus. Access her credit reports with all agencies and look for discrepancies. Report any loans or credit cards that are not hers. Put a credit freeze in place to prevent additional loans from being taken out. 
Freeze her savings and checking accounts, too. If needed, set up new accounts with new account numbers and transfer funds over to them. 
Talk to an elder law attorney about having a financial power of attorney established to help her keep track of her financial accounts and make sure transactions are legitimate. 
Additional Protections if She Lives in Assisted Living 
If your mom lives in a nursing home or assisted living community and you suspect abuse, make sure you understand her rights. The staff cannot block you from seeing her. You might be restricted to a vision through a window due to situations like the COVID-19 pandemic, but they cannot force you to a phone call only. 
You have every right to see her medical records within 24 hours of asking. She has the right to refuse to allow the nursing home administration to manage her funds. Finally, you have the right to view state inspection reports. 
Schedule a Consultation With an Attorney 
File a report with the police and then seek help from an attorney who specializes in elder abuse. Your mom has the right to be free of further abuse both at her home or in a residential care setting. Talk to an elder law attorney for immediate assistance. 

If you or a loved need assistance with Elder Law in Centerpoint, AL contact Nolan Elder Law & Estate Planning today. (205) 390-0101