Elder abuse is a deplorable act, victimizing one of the most vulnerable groups in society. However, while other forms of abuse may receive wider attention, elder abuse seems to rarely receive the attention it deserves. Instead, it is often misunderstood, tolerated or even excused, due to a lack of education, awareness and more. Elders in our society deserve better.
The truth is that we all pay for elder abuse, morally and financially. Per the National Counsel on Aging, elder abuse costs Americans $2.9 billion dollars per year. That amount is staggering and yet could be even greater due to under reporting. It is also not indicative of the true emotional toll elder abuse causes.
Elder abuse comes in several forms, each reprehensible in their own way. Examples may include, but are not limited to:
- Financial crimes
- Emotional harm
- Physical aggression or abuse
- Sexual abuse
Each of these forms of elder abuse come with a toll, both on the victim, as well as their families and society. Like crimes against animals, children, those with special needs, etc., very often the victim of this abuse is either unaware or unable to report the crime. This leads to a true lack of awareness of the extent of this problem, as well as an inability for advocates to step in and stop it.
The first step in curbing elder abuse is through expansion of awareness about its reality and threat to our society’s core institutions and values. Elder abuse does not just occur at the home or over the phone, but also in the institutions built on the promise of care: nursing homes and hospitals. This last point is critical – far too often a blind eye is turned to the actions carried out in these facilities because of the expectation for care and compassion. And yet, reality proves that misuse of this trust is far too common.
If you suspect your parent, family member, friend or a member of your community has fallen victim to elder abuse, contact the authorities or our care team immediately. Doing so will preserve evidence and ensure that help is available immediately for someone who most desperately needs it. In the event this abuse comes from an institution expected to provide care, such as a nursing home or hospital, it is then important to immediately locate alternative support in the form of a different facility.
After the threat of elder abuse has passed for your loved one, please do not hesitate to contact us for support and resources dedicated to the next steps in recovery. Whether financial, emotional or physical, the abuse suffered will take time, patience and an effective legal partner to ensure that any real world damage can be undone as much as possible. What’s more, it will help get into the public record the inappropriate and senseless elder abuse suffered to help prevent it from ever occurring again.
If you have questions about elder abuse and legal rights,please contact us today at (877) 469-7273or by filling out our contact form at your convenience.