Elder abuse can happen at any time and affects millions of Americans across the nation. Elder abuse takes various forms, but often involves a caregiver or individual failing to provide care or causing harm to a senior citizen. Senior citizens in Augusta that have been the victim of nursing home and elder abuse can contact the Eichholz Law Firm.
With the continuous improvement of modern medicine and late-life care, life expectancy has increased. Unfortunately, such advances have attributed to the rise of elder abuse. Growing populations of older adults have also attributed to the increasing occurrence of elder abuse.
With older adults at a higher risk of experiencing cognitive decline and physical ailments, they may lack the ability to report abuse by their caretakers and are, therefore, vulnerable to it. Though there is a lack in reporting of elder abuse, those who have experienced abuse by family members or at nursing homes have recourse. Being aware of the different types of elder abuse can help you potentially file a lawsuit and get the justice you deserve.
Elder Abuse Definition & Types
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), “Elder abuse is an intentional act or failure to act, by a caregiver or another person that causes or creates a risk of harm to an older adult.” The CDC defines an older adult as an individual who is 60 years or older. Though most people consider elder abuse to be bodily harm inflicted on an older adult, the CDC reports there are at least five different ways older adults can be abused. Those five ways are:
Physical abuse involves the intentional use of physical force on an older adult, resulting in pain, bodily harm, illness, impairment, or death. Examples of physical abuse include hitting, pinching, scratching, choking, biting, stomping, suffocation, shaking, and burning.
Sexual abuse is likely to happen at any age. If an older adult is forced into an unwanted sexual interaction, they have been sexually abused. The CDC lists multiple scenarios of sexual abuse among the elderly. One example could include inappropriate touching of the elderly individual’s genitalia, while another example could include forced intercourse.
Sexual abuse can also happen to someone who is not capable or competent to give consent.
Older adults may also be psychologically or emotionally abused by a caretaker or family member. This includes verbal or nonverbal actions that cause fear, anguish mental pacing, and distress to an older adult. Examples of psychological and emotional abuse include bullying, name-calling, isolation from friends, restricting communication, or threatening bodily harm.
Elder abuse can also include the negligence of a caretaker or family member. One of the main responsibilities of a caretaker is to make sure an older adult is free from harm and receives essentials, such as food and medicine. Failure to provide adequate care — whether intentional or accidental — can cause serious harm to an older adult.
As stated by the CDC, examples of negligence include “not providing adequate nutrition, shelter, clothing, hygiene, or access to necessary health care; or failure to prevent exposure to unsafe activities and environments.”
A caregiver or family member’s mishandling or improper use of an older adult’s resources can be considered as financial abuse. If a nursing home worker attempts to use manipulation or deception to take money from an older adult, they are engaging in financial abuse. In some cases, an older adult may not even have the mental wherewithal to make sound financial decisions.
Statistics on Elderly Abuse
Following cases of elder abuse can be quite difficult, with elder abuse cases often being poorly or narrowly defined. Many cases of elder abuse go unreported every year, with the National Center on Elder Abuse stating that elder abuse may go undetected by professionals working with older adults because they may be unaware or lack vital training. Older adults may also be reluctant or unable to report abuse for a variety of reasons.
Though there are a significant amount of unreliable reports, studies have attempted to track the prevalence of elder abuse in the United States.
A 2015 study highlighted that one in 10 older adults had experienced at least one of the five main types of abuse, while a New York-based study suggested that one in 13 older adults in the state had been victims of elder abuse in the past year.
According to a few studies, nursing homes are typically linked to elder abuse. An early 2000s report from the Minority Staff of the Special Investigations Division of the House Committee on Government Reform found that approximately a third of all certified facilities had received a citation for an abuse violation.
How to Use the Elderly Abuse Hotline
With elder abuse being an unfortunate reality, there are steps you can follow if you suspect elder abuse.
If you or someone else is in immediate danger, call the police or 9-1-1. If the danger is not severe, there are several hotlines to connect victims or family members to the appropriate agency.
The best resource for finding a number to report abuse or mistreatment is the National Center on Elder Abuse. The site has a map that lets you find the best number to call in each state, whether it’s the state’s department of aging or adult protective services.
Get an Augusta Elder Abuse Lawyer Today
Augusta is a city-county in Georgia that currently stands as the state’s second largest city behind Atlanta. With its ample amount of parks and golf courses, Augusta has been noted as a great city to retire in. This small city, though a great fit for retiring individuals, has undoubtedly seen its share of elder abuse cases. In fact, Augusta has seen cases of elder abuse as a result of negligence. When these incidents occur, Augusta residents can access the State Bar of Georgia website to find an attorney.
Nevertheless, Augusta residents can easily contact the Eichholz Law Firm to receive an experienced elder abuse lawyer. Our Augusta elder abuse attorneys can provide you with professional legal counsel and get you or your loved one the appropriate compensation. Call the Eichholz Law Firm today for an Augusta attorney.
Augusta residents can easily contact the Eichholz Law Firm to receive an experienced elder abuse lawyer. Our Augusta elder abuse attorneys can provide you with professional legal counsel and get you or your loved one the appropriate compensation. Call the Eichholz Law Firm today for an Augusta attorney.