Signs of Elder Abuse and What to Do
Unfortunately, elder abuse is a prevalent issue in today’s society. Despite efforts by state, federal, and local governments, it seems like we read and hear about stories on a regular basis of elders being abused. Nowhere is this troubling trend more relevant than in our own Sunshine state of Florida.
Florida is the third largest state in the nation with a population of over 19 million people. A large portion of our population are elders who depend on others to acheive the day-to-day functions that some of us may take for granted. Florida is home to some of the world’s best nursing homes and communities tailored to taking care of the elderly, but we also have a fair share of people that pray on and abuse the elderly because they can profit from it.
Signs of Elder Abuse
The federal agency Administration on Aging is responsible for promoting the wellbeing of the elderly on a national level. They focus on programs and initiatives that promote the self-sufficiency and cooperation with the elderly within their communities throughout the country. This agency has published a list of things to look out for when it comes to elder abuse, and it is worth looking over.
First off, it is important to list the ways in which people can abuse elderly individuals. Some of the most common ways are:
Financially abusing the elderly by scams and threats;
Physically abusing the elderly through words or actions;
Neglecting the elderly by not taking care of elderly individuals in your charge;
Abusing the elderly through emotional abuse.
These are just some of the more common types of abuse, but there is certainly no limit to what some people will do to profit off of or abuse those they see as helpless.
To combat these types of abuses, the AoA recommends looking for some of the following signs:
Complete control over a person’s finances and the elderly person lacking in basic fundamental comforts and amenities;
Deceptive or evasive answers about an elderly individual’s finances or well being;
Not easily explained bruises, broken bones, or other physical problems;
Lack of food, clothing, or basic hygiene products;
Uncharacteristic changes in behaviors or habits.
For a full look at the the AoA’s recommendations you can go here for the list. The most important thing to do is to really listen to any reports or complaints that an elderly person may have.
Laws Meant to Protect our Elderly Population
Fortunately there are laws on the books that are meant to protect elders from being abused. Not only is elder abuse and neglect criminally punishable, but there are civil laws available to recompense abused elders from the damages they suffer at the hands of wrongdoers.
The fact is that our elderly population is entitled to a certain standard of care when it comes to those who look after and interact with them. Whenever that standard is breached and the elderly individual suffers, our civil laws will work to make the wrongdoer pay for the damage they cause. At The Pittman Firm we stand up for the rights of the elderly, and will do so for you or your loved one. If you or a loved one is the victim of elderly abuse, contact us. We look forward to talking with you about your case.
See related blog posts: Florida Legislature Looks to Curb Abuse of the Elderly; How to Find the Best Nursing Homes.