Elder abuse is an intentional act or failure to act by a caregiver (or another individual in a relationship that involves an expectation of trust) that causes or creates a risk of harm to an older adult. Unfortunately, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that approximately 10% of adults age 60 and older have experienced some type of abuse, neglect, or exploitation while living at home.
Common Types of Elder Abuse
There are five types of elder abuse: physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional/psychological abuse, neglect, and financial abuse. Potential symptoms of abuse, neglect, or exploitation include:
- Absence of food or water
- Untreated or unexplained worsening of medical conditions
- Inadequate living environment or unsafe housing
- Animal or insect infestations
- Poor hygiene
- Dehydration or malnutrition
- Unexplained injuries
- Extreme withdrawal or agitation, confusion, depression, or emotional distress
Reporting Elder Abuse
The Indiana Family and Social Services Administration defines an endangered adult as anyone who is at least 18 years of age and:
- Incapable of managing or directing the management of their property or self-care due to mental illness, disability, dementia, or other physical or mental incapacity
- Harmed or threated with harm due to neglect, battery, or exploitation of their personal services or property
Indiana is a mandatory reporting state. Elder abuse must be reported to local law enforcement immediately. However, if you believe someone is in immediate danger, call 911 first. When reporting suspected elder abuse, be sure to provide the name and location of the individual as well as details about the alleged abuse.
After suspected elder abuse is reported, Indiana Adult Protective Services (APS) will investigate or refer the case to law enforcement or another agency for investigation. APS will determine whether the subject of the report is an endangered adult.
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.