What You Should Do When You Become Victim Of Elder Abuse
Sep 30, 2020 11:44 AM EDT
Elder abuse is not new in society as it has been an ongoing problem even in first-world countries. Elder abuse is the intentional abuse (physical, emotional, mental, or sexual) of an elder. It can take place in any community, including the home, health facility, foster home, school, or prison.
If you or your loved one is a victim of elder abuse, you need to know what you should do, which will be discussed below.
What Is Elder Abuse?
As already mentioned, elder abuse refers to any intentional hurting of an elder, either physically or mentally, whether it's a sick, older adult or someone who's very old and cannot do anything by themself.
Elder abuse could be inflicted by a relative or a person hired, like a caregiver or a companion for old age.
Know The Signs of Elder Abuse
Elder abuse can be in many forms, and the signs of elder abuse usually differ from case to case. Usually, physical and mental signs are more evident than other types. Emotional signs are also possible, but the effects are less pronounced compared to the physical ones.
Some signs of elder abuse usually go unnoticed. But they're still visible to other family members or even to law enforcement officials and legal experts.
Physical signs include the following:
Redness on the face and body
There are other physical signs of elder abuse, too. They include having trouble breathing, unexplained weight loss and gain, sudden memory loss, forgetting to eat or drink, unexplained bruising, dizziness, and vision problems.
Physical abuse quickly takes its toll on an elder. It often takes place at home or nursing home, which can be in the form of punching and kicking or shoving. Also, it often goes on when there are no witnesses. The victim will develop physical illnesses and disabilities that could lead to death if left untreated.
Contact The Police
The U.S. Department of Justice estimates that one in 10 older adults or the elderly is a victim of abuse. Additionally, previous studies showed that older people lose US$2.9 billion a year because of financial abuse. That's why reporting elder abuse is important so you can prevent the number of cases from increasing.
When you become a victim of elder abuse, the first thing that you must do is contact the police and file a report. If the police don't help you, you may get a protective order against the abuser.
Consult An Elder Abuse Lawyer
Another option you can take is hiring a lawyer. An elder abuse attorney will know the legal rights that you have and can help you get a protective order. Fine, Farkash & Parlapiano, P.A. explains the importance of having a legal advocate to help you recover from the abuse.
When it comes to elder abuse, here's how a lawyer can help you:
Gather evidence: A lawyer can initiate an investigation to identify the person or what's causing elder abuse.
File claim: An elder abuse lawyer can help you file the necessary claim to compensate your loved one because of the abuse's damages.
Take the case in court: To give the victim justice, your attorney will file a case or lawsuit against the suspect.
Consult A Mental Health Counselor
If you're experiencing an abusive environment, you may also want to see a mental health counselor. Some mental illnesses and disorders can cause you to become a victim of abuse. Having a counselor on your side will help you figure out how to cope with the situation and get on the road to recovery.
As mentioned, these physical signs are not the only ones. Sometimes, they're just the indicators of emotional stress that may come from problems within the family or life in general. Emotional signs also cause physical damage. A victim may lose concentration and memory or fail to react to situations correctly. They may have difficulty breathing, have trouble talking, feel depressed, go through periods of extreme sadness, or even have suicidal thoughts. These signs of elder abuse will usually show up only when you're around the person.
Elders should be protected from mistreatment; they must be well cared for. To survive in this world, some elderly people need extra care and attention. But this shouldn't be done by using any wrong means.
If you suspect elder abuse, and upon confirming the signs, make sure to report the incident and seek the help of a personal injury lawyer. By doing so, you'll attain justice and get properly compensated.