The Role of Physicians in Stopping Elder Abuse
The Prevalence of Elder Abuse
A recent report published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society brought up the topic of what Doctors, and especially Emergency Room physicians, can do to spot and prevent elder abuse. In California and many other states, physicians are already mandatory reporters of Elder Abuse, meaning that they have to inform authorities if they suspect elder abuse is occurring. The problem comes with spotting the abuse in the first place. Our San Francisco elder abuse attorneys know how hard it can be for someone not trained in the field to identify potential elder abuse, and that even applies to medical professionals.
Elder abuse affects about 1 in 10 seniors in America, and emergency room physicians report it for about 1 in 7,700 visits by seniors. While certainly not all ER visits stem from incidents of abuse, these numbers suggest a significant gap in doctors’ ability to determine when a seniors is being victimized at home. Primary Care doctors routinely investigate whether their patients are being hurt or mistreated by those close to them, but in the stress of the emergency room, it can be hard for physicians to investigate, and many are hesitant to report without conclusive proof. Combined with the reticence that our San Francisco elder abuse attorneys have observed many seniors have about talking about abuse, and the fact that others are suffering from dementia or related conditions, and it helps explain why so many cases of elder abuse go unreported.
What Family and Friends Can Do
It’s a sad fact that seniors without a support network of friends and family often have to rely on institutions and the good will of strangers. While the network of ER doctors, financial planners, and other mandatory reporters may catch a few cases of elder abuse, it’s up to those closest to senior to ensure that they aren’t being victimized by caretakers, brokers, or other unscrupulous individuals. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try something happens, and that’s when you should call an elder abuse attorney. But the best place to spend time and effort is in preventing elder abuse from happening in the first place.
If you or a loved one has experienced elder abuse in California, contact the Evans Law Firm elder abuse attorneys at (415) 441-8669, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our attorneys have experience with complex financial contracts and large insurance companies. We can help guide your case through a jury trial or toward an equitable settlement. We handle cases involving physical and financial elder abuse, qui tam and whistleblower law, nursing home abuse, whole life insurance and universal life insurance, and indexed, variable, and fixed annuities.