Elder Abuse on the Rise


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As the elderly population increases, there has been a noticeable rise in abuse with these persons. These incidents are both in care facilities intending to ensure these individuals are well taken care of and at home where they live with family for their later years. Unfortunately, it has been observed that with a larger amount of elderly persons, the higher the rate of abuse. These incidents may be physical, emotional or psychological.

Some individuals are targeted for scams to obtain monetary assets of those with money in the eclipse of their lives. Others have been abused emotionally by family and friends who are trying to control their fixed income as it is received each month. Physical violence is ever pervasive in elder care facilities with neglect, intentional acts of abuse and other issues.

The neglect in nursing homes and care facilities is often the precursor to abuse and injury. When a person has been neglected for prolonged periods of time, this is considered abuse. The elderly individual is often not capable of taking care of himself or herself due to infirmity, confinement in a wheelchair or walker or because he or she has become bed-ridden. A lengthy time in any confined area may cause injury such as bedsores, withered muscles and broken bones. There are frequently signs that appear to provide family and friends with evidence that the person they love has been neglected or abused by facility staff. In many cases, it is important to obtain a lawyer to ensure the individual is taken care of properly and any due compensation is obtained.

The Silence of the Elderly

When the age of a person increases, there are several faculties that become diminished. These senses may lead to the phenomenon of staying silent when someone is causing harm to himself or herself. These decreasing senses are what many abusers prey upon through either intentionally causing harm to a person or to provide a manner or protecting him or her from retaliation of the family. This is due to the lack of memory, sight or sound of who it was that caused the injury or neglect. Other elderly individuals are silent due to fear. The fear that if he or she speaks out or attempts to eliminate the problem, that the person that caused the neglect or physical harm will come back and hurt him or her even more. Others are targets of emotional or psychological terror. Someone may insinuate that a loved one may be hurt if he or she does not provide financial aid to the abuser.

Various forms of abuse may be enacted upon an older person by another that is intentionally causing harm. These individuals have targeted the elder because he or she appears to be weak or particularly prone to emotional or mental distress. In these situations, there is no other reason to attack the victim than for the enjoyment of the crime. Though these incidents may be rare, it is important that the older individual understands there are avenues of assistance open to include loved ones that may seek help. When these issues arise, it is important to seek legal aid through a lawyer to understand how to proceed.

Neglect and How it Works

When an elderly person is living in a nursing home or care facility, he or she may be neglected during his or her time in the building. This could be through the lack of assistance for any or all activities, a general impassive stance on attention and numerous other similar behaviors. The neglectful actions of staff or attendants often lead to personal injury incidents. The older person may attempt to climb stairs he or she is not capable of, perform an activity he or she is not fit to do, eat or drink something not on the recommended diet and other actions that could lead to injury or a trip to the hospital.

Neglectful behavior often occurs when a single person or a group has been targeted by staff. This could be retaliatory actions due to something the person or persons did, how the management and employees were treated by family and friends of the victim or group of victims or for no reason other than the management or attendants do not like the target or targets. A lack of workers could also lead to neglect indirectly as there are not enough people working to ensure everyone has adequate care and attention. Because of this, injuries may occur for anyone that has not been seen to in a lengthy period of time. While indirect neglect may not be intentional, these actions may still lead to a dire situation that needs immediate looking into by others.

Legal Assistance with the Elderly

The family often must seek legal assistance in these matters of abuse and neglect. Some circumstances require litigation for compensation due to injury or illness. Others may be settled with the lawyers of the victim and the nursing home.


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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer.

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