According to a study from the National Center on Elder Abuse, it is estimated that “between 1 and 2 million Americans age 65 or older have been injured, exploited, or otherwise mistreated by someone on whom they depended for care or protection.” This can include a doctor, nurse, home healthcare worker, family member, or other individual. As disturbing as this is, the same center reports that only 1 in 14 incidents are reported to the proper authorities. If someone you love, your parent, grandparent, or other elderly relative has been the victim of elder abuse, do not delay in contacting a Philadelphia elder abuse attorney for help.
Types of Elder Abuse
There are many forms of elder abuse, which can vary and include the following:
- Physical Abuse – When an elder is physically hit, shoved, or otherwise mishandled in a way that causes them bodily harm.
- Sexual Abuse – When an elder is contacted in a sexual way without giving consent or without having the ability to consent.
- Emotional Abuse – When an elder is verbally assaulted in a way that causes emotional damage and robs them of their dignity.
- Financial Abuse – When a predator uses an elder’s naiveté or confusion on a topic for financial gain – such as identity theft, pyramid schemes, etc.
- Neglect – When a caregiver neglects an elder in a way that can include lack of feeding, washing, turning, and any other task the elder cannot perform or has difficulty performing on their own.
Other Disturbing Statistics on Elder Abuse
- The estimates on elder abuse can vary depending on the criteria, but anywhere from 5% to 10% of elders can be abused by a caregiver.
- The “Long Term Care Ombudsman” found that physical abuse was the most common form of elder abuse.
- Financial exploitation is one of the most under-reported forms of elder abuse – with an estimated 1 out of 25 cases being reported – often due to the elder’s relationship with the predator.
What to do if you Suspect Elder Abuse
If you suspect someone you care about is being subjected to any form of elder abuse in their home or a nursing home, it is important to act immediately. This is essential in stopping the abuse and in collecting any evidence. For example, elders who live in assisted care facilities and have their own rooms may be able to place hidden monitoring devices in the rooms. It is also important to contact the authorities in order to fill out a report and begin an investigation into the abuse.
Philadelphia Elder Abuse Attorney
If someone you love, your parent, grandparent, or other elderly relative has been the victim of elder abuse in Philadelphia, contact our office immediately to discuss your options at no cost. Time limitations apply to your potential claims, so do not delay in contacting a Philadelphia elder abuse attorney for help.