Each year, thousands of adults over the age of 60 are abused, neglected, or financially exploited. This is called elder abuse.
Unfortunately, with COVID-19 keeping families apart and seniors more isolated than ever, elders are at greater risk of physical and financial abuse than ever before.
Understanding Senior Abuse
What is Senior Abuse?
Senior abuse can take many forms. While many people assume abuse is exclusively physical, that’s not always the case. In addition to physical abuse, seniors can suffer:
- Emotional abuse. Also known as psychological abuse, this can include anything from harmful words spoken by a caretaker to threats or screaming. Caretakers who prohibit seniors from seeing friends and family can also be a form of emotional abuse.
- Neglect. Some seniors need round-the-clock care. Neglect occurs when a caretaker doesn’t try to respond to an adult’s needs. This can take many forms, including their physical, emotional, or social needs. Caretakers can also be found guilty of neglect if they withhold food, water, medication, or access to medical care.
- Abandonment. A caretaker who leaves the senior they promised to care for.
- Financial abuse. Financial abuse is common among aging seniors. This happens when caretakers steal money or personal belongings from seniors. This can also include using a person’s credit card or banking information without their permission.
Signs to Look Out For
Senior abuse can take many different forms. Knowing the signs to look out for can help keep your loved ones protected.
- Staying in bed for long periods of time and not partaking in activities they once enjoyed.
- A disheveled appearance, unwashed hair, or dirty clothes.
- Having trouble falling or staying asleep.
- Sudden and rapid weight loss.
- Physical displays of stress, including rocking back and forth or shaking.
- Emotional outbursts.
- Unexplained bruises, scars, or bed sores.
- Sudden financial trouble or an inability to make payments.
What to Do if Your Loved One is in Danger
If you suspect your loved one is being abused or neglected, it’s imperative that you act quickly. The first step is to report the matter to the proper authorities as soon as possible. Then, you should reach out to a trusted personal injury attorney who will fight for your loved one’s right to a safe and happy home.
At Henderson & Weatherly, we can provide the legal representation you need for your criminal or personal injury case. We care about what happens in your case. To learn more about our team, call us at (216) 220-6776 or contact us online today.