Living with relatives is not always protection against elder abuse, nor can it prevent elders from being taken advantage of by family members and care providers. An elderly woman of age 70 sadly learned that lesson. The woman, who suffered physical neglect and verbal abuse at the hands of family members, said they would tell her to “go to bed” in a dark room where she lay awake distraught and unable to sleep. While she languished and suffered physical neglect, people who overcharged her for grocery shopping drained her limited resources.
Fortunately, a friend reported the abuse to adult protective services and an investigation led her to Shalom Center, one of the few shelters in the country that assists elderly victims of abuse. Located in a Cincinnati suburb, it is part of the Cedar Village retirement community.
By 2030, there will be a dramatic increase in the number of seniors 65 or older as 74 million baby boomers born between 1946 and 1964 enter the ranks of the elderly. One in ten seniors has suffered some form of mistreatment, although most elder abuse is unreported. As the population ages, the problem will increase.
While prosecutors have sometimes been reluctant to take legal action in cases of elder abuse because of complex medical and financial issues and the witness’s reluctance to testify against family members, there is increasing awareness of the problem. Experts in the legal, medical, social services and law enforcement communities are joining forces in organizations like the Orange County-Elder Abuse Forensic Center to educate the community and combat the abuse and exploitation of seniors.
Protect yourself and your loved ones by seeking legal advice from an attorney who specializes in cases involving the victimization of seniors. The Evans Law Firm represents victims of elder abuse in California. If you or a loved one has been or may be the victim of financial exploitation, nursing home abuse or caregiver abuse, contact The Evans Law Firm for a free and confidential consultation at 415-441-8669 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.