Everyone should have the opportunity to age with grace and dignity, and to be free from abuse or neglect, but sadly this is not always the case. It has been estimated that 1 in 10 Americans over the age of 60 has experienced some form of abuse, but only a portion of these incidents are ever reported. Whether you are getting older, or you have aging relatives that you’re concerned about, it’s important to recognize the signs of elder abuse, so that you can take the appropriate action for the safety and justice of all.
There are several experienced elder abuse attorneys in Emeryville, and across the country, who are ready to help you and your family should the need arise. But before you reach out to a lawyer, here are a few signs to watch out for, that may indicate that your loved one is being abused:
An older adult that cannot fully take care of themselves may be at the mercy of a caretaker, nurse, aide, or other helper. The following signs may mean they aren’t receiving the assistance that they should be getting: malnutrition, dramatic weight loss, change in personal hygiene, untreated bed sores, missed medication dosing, or other indications that the elder is not recognized as fully human or part of the family.
Sadly, our elders are at risk for physical violence too, either at the hands of family members (domestic violence) or professional caretakers (institutional abuse). Any of the following signs may indicate a violent or threatening environment for your loved one: unexplained bruises, cuts, scrapes, grip marks, or broken bones, denial of those injuries, and/or intimidated or fearful demeanor around caregiver or family member.
Some abusers take advantage of an elder’s compromised mental capacities, in order to control their finances. This happens far more often than people realize. Look out for the following signs of elder financial abuse: unexpected sale of property or other assets, sudden naming of new beneficiaries in estate planning documents, unexpected transfer of funds, suspiciously high charges for caretaking expenses, and/or sudden change in granted power of attorney.
You or your loved one may also experience psychological or emotional abuse, often in conjunction with one or more of the above. This may take the form of physical or emotional isolation, verbal abuse, or preventing the elder from making important life decisions about their health, finances, or last wishes.
When you need a compassionate elder abuse attorney in California to help you, come to the law office of Thomas C. Tagliarini, and ask for your free consultation to get started.