Elder Abuse: More Common Than You Know

On Behalf of | Apr 27, 2014 | Personal Injury

With a growing elderly population coming to a head in the United States, especially since the Baby Boomers are entering their elder years and filling nursing homes across America, the issue of elder abuse is becoming more known. And, the problem is more common than we know. According to Helpguide a non-profit that helps provide “unbiased, reliable” information to the public about medications, and conditions, elder abuse is on the rise.

There are some factors that can make an elderly person in nursing care more vulnerable to abuse, including their age, ability, physical functioning, ability to communicate, and mental capacity. The problem is worldwide, but just here in the United States, over half a million people are abused in nursing homes every year. Aged people can be abused where they live, whether at home or in nursing care or even in a medical facility. They can also be abused by family, friends, neighbors, or caregivers.

The most common forms of elder abuse take the form of the following:

Physical abuse: This type of abuse is not limited to hitting, punching, slapping, pinching, and the like. It also includes unnecessary and abusive use of restraints, unnecessary or excessive drugging, and unnecessary confinement and cruelty.

Neglect:  This type of abuse is reported in nearly half of all elder abuse cases and involves either intentional or passive neglect of the elderly person’s needs. Failing to provide care, medication, or food and water are among the ways in which this type of abuse can manifest.

Sexual abuse:  This type of abuse occurs without the consent of the elderly person. This type of abuse can involve physical touch and also showing inappropriate pornographic materials to elderly persons against their will or forcing them to engage in other activities including undressing and watching sexual acts.

Emotional abuse: This form of abuse usually can be accompanied by others and can include yelling, blaming, causing mental anguish, intimidation, isolation, trickery, and ignoring requests for assistance.

Theft or Exploitation: Abusive caretakers can engage in elder abuse by misusing or stealing the money, property, or resources of an elderly person. This can frequently be done even with the consent of the elderly person to use funds, but without their knowledge of the abuse or theft of those resources.

If you or someone you love have been the victims of elder abuse, we can help advise your family on how to protect the rights of your loved ones. The experienced attorneys at the Solberg Stewart Miller law firm in Fargo, ND can help you fight for your family’s rights while you focus on caring for each other. We are leaders in litigation regarding personal injury cases.

Sources: http://www.helpguide.org/mental/elder_abuse_physical_emotional_sexual_neglect.htm