Life expectancy is higher than it has ever been, and as such, the American elderly population continues to grow. There is a massive demand for nursing homes and elder care, and it’s vital for anyone with an elderly loved one to understand elder abuse. If your loved one is in the care of a nursing home or caregiver, know the signs of the different types of elder abuse and what to do in case you suspect your loved one is being abused.
The Primary Types of Elder Abuse
Elder abuse takes many forms, and some types are harder to identify than others. Vigilance and communication are crucial to preventing or stopping the various types of elder abuse. If a loved one is in a nursing home or under the care of a professional caregiver, make sure you keep an eye out for any strange or uncharacteristic behaviors. Many abused elders fear to speak out about the abuse they endure for fear of reprisals from their abusers.
In some cases, the victim’s mental health state may prevent them from recognizing abuse when it happens. Family members of elderly individuals to can be vigilant about recognizing the different types of elder abuse.
- Physical abuse. This type includes any hitting, slapping, or physical harm. If you notice strange bruises on your loved one, or there seem to have been taking numerous trips to the hospital recently, investigate the situation. Physical abuse does not only include direct and intentional physical harm – it also includes neglect. Nursing homes and caregivers must ensure that the people in their care receive proper nutrition, the correct medications in the right dosages, and preventative care against bedsores, an extremely painful (and potentially life-threatening) condition that happens when caregivers fail to regularly reposition bedridden patients.
- Mental abuse. Another area of concern, this type of abuse and it is often more difficult to detect than physical abuse. Mental abuse can include things like humiliation, ridicule, intimidation, degradation, or manipulation. Mental or emotional abuse may render the victim withdrawn or uninterested in their usual activities. If you notice any sudden strange or uncharacteristic behaviors in your elderly loved one, it could be a sign of emotional abuse.
- Financial Abuse. In some cases, caregivers exploit the people under their care for personal gain. When a nursing home employee or caregiver steals from the elderly individuals under his or her care, he or she is committing financial elder abuse. Common examples include writing checks using the victim’s checkbook or identity theft. Some individuals will steal an elderly individual’s identity and open up credit card accounts in the victim’s name.
- Sexual Abuse is another type of elder abuse. Just like any other adult, any sexual contact without the other person’s consent is a crime. Sexual elder abuse can include rape, sexual assault, and other indirect activities such as forcing the elder to look at pornographic content or sexual acts.
Know Your Rights
If you believe a loved one has experienced anything like the aforementioned types of abuse, act quickly to prevent further abuse. Elder abuse can sometimes be difficult to prove, but connecting with the right legal representative can make a world of difference in your experience.
Get an Experienced Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Riverside on Your Side!
At Estey & Bomberger, we believe our elderly loved ones deserve respect, dignity, and proper care. It is our job to protect those who have protected us. Anyone who violates the people under their care needs to be held accountable for their actions. Reach out to the Riverside personal injury attorney team at Estey & Bomberger if you have any questions about elder abuse laws in California or to schedule a free case evaluation. We’ll review the details of your situation and discuss your options. Contact us in Riverside today! 951-543-9020