“Elder Orphans” On The Rise
Isolation Causing A Spike In Elder Abuse
Preventing Elder Abuse: ”Everything Is About Preparation”
Elder advocates have coined the term “elder orphans” to refer to seniors who have lost their spouse and children and are thought to be “orphaned.” Sadly this category of seniors is on the rise due to lives lost to COVID. The dangers for these “orphaned” seniors is exacerbated by their increased isolation during the pandemic, which has led to a concomitant uptick in elder abuse. “It’s worse now than it’s ever been,” says one aging and caregiving expert. As the elder abuse litigators at Evans Law Firm, Inc. well know: elder abuse was a surging problem before COVID-19; the pandemic has only accelerated the numbers and the severity of cases. Tragically, the pandemic is leaving ever greater numbers of orphaned elders. Friends, neighbors, and more remote loved ones can step in and stay active in these eld3er orphans’ lives as they are the most vulnerable to all forms of elder abuse, including financial elder abuse If you suspect any type of elder abuse, including financial abuse, of an older loved one in Los Angeles or elsewhere in California, call the elder abuse lawyers at Evans Law Firm, Inc. today at (415)441-8669 and we can help.
Understanding The Signs of Elder Abuse
Understanding what to look for in older loved ones’ lives, is a critical part of protecting them and stopping abuse. Signs of physical and financial abuse include
- Indications of physical abuse: bruises, welts, pressure wounds/bed sores, lacerations, infections, weight loss, and significant mood changes or other signs of trauma.
- Changes in living arrangements
- Poor living conditions in comparison with a senior’s assets
- Unpaid bills
- Confusion about financial matters
- Changes in the senior’s appearance
- Unreturned voicemail or texts – someone may be intercepting them
- The senior no longer seems independent
- A new “friend” has taken an inordinate interest in the senior’s like
- Items go missing or are being taken without the senior’s consent
Prevention: “Everything is About Preparation”
Filmmaker Debby Bitticks turned the experience of her father-in-law’s suffering as a victim of elder abuse into a 2008 movie called “Saving our Parents.” In it, she describes the ordeal her aged father-in-law went through at the hands of a caregiver whom, as she says in the film, turned out to be a “crook.” Her advice for prevention is a good lesion for all – “Everything is about preparation.” By that, she (and we) mean, among other things, having a solid estate plan including a trustworthy Power of Attorney in place, thoroughly screening any individual hired to come into the home for caregiving, monitoring finances and bank accounts, and having a trusted friend check in on the elder frequently and safely if you can’t be there. We would add one further essential recommendation – Never ever let a senior give a caregiver a Power of Attorney. Finally, have all these conservations and make preparations before you senior loved one gets to the point where he or she does not understand what is going on in their life.
If, despite preparations, you suspect any kind of abuse of a senior loved one here in Los Angeles or anywhere else in California, call Ingrid M. Evans and our other elder abuse attorneys at Evans Law Firm. Ingrid and our other lawyers will pursue all remedies available to you including getting stolen money back, undoing any trusts or contracts the abuser may have fraudulently created, and an award of the attorneys’ fees and expenses you’ve incurred in bringing your case. Ingrid and our other elder abuse attorneys can be reached at (415) 441-8669, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.