What Should You Do if You Suspect Elder Abuse?
Around five million older adults fall victim each year to some form of elder abuse. Elder abuse does not discriminate as it can happen to anyone across all demographics; whether the victim is wealthy or in a lower income bracket. Our Louisiana elder abuse lawyer advises this is a good time to learn more about the abuse elderly adults could be vulnerable to from caregivers and healthcare facilities.
Types of Elder Abuse to Watch For
Elder abuse comes in various forms and may not always be of a physically abusive manner. Common types of elder abuse can include:
- Physical abuse involves the purposeful use of force that causes injury, physical pain or impairment to an elderly person. It also includes confinement and the inappropriate use of restraints or medications.
- Sexual abuse involves contact without the elderly person’s consent. This type of abuse can include forcing an individual to view pornographic materials or sexual activity or forcing him or her to undress.
- Emotional abuse is treating an elderly adult in such a way that it causes him or her psychological or emotional pain or distress. This could include:
- Intimidating the individual by threatening or yelling
- Humiliating or ridiculing the elderly adult
- Terrorizing the individual
- Lastly, isolating the older adult from family, friends or activities
- Elder neglect is the intentional or unintentional failure to fulfill caretaking obligations. More than 50 percent of reported elder abuse cases are a result of neglect.
- Health care fraud by unscrupulous health care providers, including doctors and nursing homes could include:
- Charging for medical care not provided
- Under or overmedicating patients
- Medicaid fraud
- Financial exploitation is the unauthorized use of an elderly person’s financial resources by a caregiver. This may include stealing cash, possessions, identity theft or misuse of credit accounts.
Reporting Elder Abuse
It is not always easy to spot the signs of any type of elder abuse. You might or might not notice physical injuries or also, the misuse of finances right away. But you may notice a change in behavior, such as fearfulness, agitation or confusion, or physical changes, such as weight loss, unexplained bruising, or hair loss. However, if you have any suspicion that your elderly loved one, friend, or neighbor is being abused, you must act quickly to protect the vulnerable.
Such was the case in February 2020 when the neighbor of an elderly woman contacted the Plaquemine Police and the Iberville Parish Sheriff’s Office to report that she had not see her neighbor in several months. When officers entered the home, they found a woman in her 70s in a bed covered in cat urine and feces. Upon these finding, a 54 year old man who had been living with the elderly woman was booked into the parish jail on suspicion of cruelty to persons with infirmities.
Everyone, whether a medical provider or family member is required under Louisiana’s mandatory reporting statute to report suspected cases of elderly abuse. In Louisiana, you can report suspected abuse to Elderly Protective Services (EPS) 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling 1-(833) 577-6532 or (225) 342-0144. However, if you witness a life-threatening situation where an elderly individual is at risk, immediately call 911 for police assistance.
Get Help from a Louisiana Elder Abuse Lawyer
Elder abuse is a vile and inexcusable crime. Still, if you suspect that your loved one is a victim of elder abuse, the law is on your side. You need a Louisiana elder abuse lawyer to fight for his or her right to safety.
The elder abuse attorneys of Mike Brander Injury Attorneys have the experience and also, compassion needed to get the justice your family deserves. Our office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., but we are always available 24/7 to take your call. Call us today to schedule your free consultation. There is no fee unless we win your case.
The information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.