The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports that over 500,000 older Americans are abused or neglected each year. Knowing how to identify elder abuse and what to do if you suspect abuse is crucial to protecting your loved ones.
Types of Elder Abuse
While you may think of elder abuse as physical abuse, there are several different types. The CDC defines elder abuse within these six categories:
- Emotional abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Physical abuse
- Financial abuse
Although every elder abuse situation is unique, there are a few signs you should look out for. Physical abuse may result in injuries such as unexplained bruises or broken bones. Sexual abuse can result in sexually transmitted infections or genital pain.
In cases of neglect, you may see signs of malnourishment, bedsores, unpaid bills, or poor hygiene. Lack of necessities such as food, water, and shelter is also a potential sign of neglect. Abandonment can result in unsanitary living conditions and lack of medical treatment.
Financial abuse may include missing personal property, a sudden depletion in assets, questionable financial transactions, and other signs.
Who is Liable?
If elder abuse or neglect happens in a nursing home or care facility, the facility may be liable in some cases. For example, if inadequate training, medication errors, understaffing, or breach of regulatory obligations results in elder abuse, the facility can be held liable.
What to Do About Suspected Elder Abuse
If you suspect elder abuse or neglect is occurring, call the police or Adult Protective Services right away. If you’re concerned about possible issues at a facility, you can contact Indiana’s long-term care ombudsman. Learn more here.
It’s also a good idea to consult with an experienced attorney who has experience with elder abuse cases. The attorney can help you navigate the situation and protect the elder person’s legal rights.
If you or a loved one has been injured, contact the Schuerman Law office today. Schuerman Law has been working with personal injury claims for over 40 years. John Schuerman will compassionately advocate for injured individuals as well as their families while fighting for full compensation of their claims. Schuerman Law offers evening and weekend appointments in addition to home and hospital visits. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 1-800-274-0045.