Elder abuse is widespread in our society, but there is increased awareness of the issue and the forms of abuse, and resources to help. California elder abuse lawyers say that it can be difficult to recognize the signs of elder abuse.
Abuse is often committed by family members, caregivers, or others close to the victim, or by staff in the long-term care facilities, or professionals such as nurses. Elder abuse can be financial, physical, psychological or emotional.
Financial abuse or exploitation is a common type of abuse. It is characterized by actions such as pressure on the senior to sign a contract such as a power of attorney or to give someone money, as well as in more visible ways such as scams, theft, forgery, and fraud.
Warning signs of financial elder abuse include significant withdrawals from the seniors’ accounts, changes made to the power of attorney, mandates or will, unnecessary purchases, or disappearing money and belongings. According to California elder abuse lawyers, some precautions can be taken to avoid this. Seniors should not give their personal bank account information and PIN numbers, should not make out checks to cash, and should clearly understand any agreement they are about to sign.
Emotional or psychological abuse is more difficult to detect. Seniors suffering from this type of abuse may be isolated, threatened, infantilized or intimidated verbally or non-verbally. Signs of emotional or psychological abuse can be depression, appearing fearful and submissive, and avoiding eye contact with the perpetrator. Abusers may isolate their victims so that they cannot have any contact with others. To protect seniors against this kind of abuse, it is necessary that they keep a close family circle to avoid becoming isolated, become aware of their rights, and, seek professional assistance when they need it.
Physical abuse is often easier to recognize, and may include unexplained injuries, signs of restraint, burns, or agitation in the victim. For senior citizens to protect themselves against physical elder abuse, it is important to keep strong contacts with family members and to keep emergency numbers available. If physical abuse is occurring in the home, victims should leave their home and seek refuge with a relative, friend, neighbor, or even by going to a shelter.
An attorney may be consulted when legal action is necessary. Elder abuse attorneys can help by asking the Court to take safeguard measures for the victim, by appointing a legal representative, or by sending a simple cease and desist letter.
Evans Law Firm, Inc. handles all types of elder abuse lawsuits, including financial elder abuse cases. If you or a loved one has been a victim of elder abuse, please contact Evans Law Firm, Inc. at 415-441-8669 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.