Elder abuse is one of the most horrifying forms of violence. Each year, hundreds of seniors face abuse from their supposed caregivers and are unable to speak up or defend themselves due to debilitating physical conditions or fear. If you have a loved one you suspect is getting abused, there are several identifying factors that could help you bring a civil claim against his or her abuser. It is worth mentioning that elder abuse is not based solely on violence; it can also be legally defined as neglect or intentional carelessness. Consider seeking the legal advice of a skilled attorney that has experience in the field of elder abuse claims. An attorney with the right experience can help you gather a profound case against the negligent party.
Gathering Evidence of Elder Abuse
Gathering supportive evidence that an elder is undergoing abuse can be difficult. In part, this is because many victims will be unable to verbally identify his or her abuser. Additionally, many signs are often mistaken for symptoms of either dementia or the victim’s frailty.
According to the National Institute of Justice, one of the most prevalent signifiers of elder abuse is bruising. If you suspect your loved one is being abused, documenting bruising can help build a strong case against the careless party. There are certain elements of bruising, however, that you should consider:
- Most accidental bruises will occur in predictable patterns.
- Large accidental bruises will likely occur on a senior’s extremities.
- The color and appearance of a bruise will change over time.
- Seniors who are under medication are likely to be more prone to bruising.
Other warning signs of elder abuse can involve the following:
- Broken eyeglasses,
- The caregiver’s refusal to allow the victim receive visitation,
- Signs of being restrained such as marks,
- Unusual weight loss,
- Unexplained bleeding,
- Untreated physical and health issues, and/or
- Unsanitary conditions.
Identifying Multiple Forms of Abuse
As previously mentioned elder abuse will often go beyond that of physical abuse. Some forms of abuse may involve threats made against the victim or even intimidation. Others will involve financial deception. The following list will outline some of the most common forms of elder abuse:
Physical abuse will generally involve the non-accidental use of force against a helpless individual. This type of abuse will typically result in injury, physical pain, and even impairment. Physical abuse against an elder will involve not only assault such as shoving and hitting; it can also involve the use of restraints, drugs, or confinement.
Emotional abuse can involve causing an elder to feel emotional or psychological distress. This type of abuse can transpire through the following methods:
- Intimidation through threatening the victim,
- Intimidation through yelling at the victim,
- Humiliating or ridiculing the senior,
- Habitual blaming and/or scapegoating,
- Disregarding the victim,
- Isolating the senior from his or her friends or facility activities,
- Menacing the victim, or
- Terrorizing the victim.
Obtain Legal Support
If you have reason to believe that your loved one is undergoing abuse, seek the legal advice of a trusted attorney that has experience in dealing with elder abuse cases. An attorney with the right knowledge can guide you through the process of filing a claim against the negligent party.
Attorney Richard Rhode is dedicated to bringing justice to victims of elder abuse. He is a skilled attorney that has extensive experience in handling elder abuse claims. Elder abuse is a horrifying ordeal to victims and their loved ones; obtain the support of an attorney who will champion on your behalf.