Growing old is a privilege that not everyone will get to enjoy. Those who do age into seniors experience some unique challenges, though. For most, aging means a slow mental and physical decline.
Due to that, our elderly loved ones are more vulnerable to abuse.
Are you aware of elder abuse laws and how they protect your loved ones? Were you aware that some seniors don’t even realize that they’re getting abused? Read on to get informed and help protect your loved one from abuse and neglect.
1. Criminal Assault
It’s never acceptable for an adult to put their hands on someone else in an aggressive manner. If your loved one suffered physical violence, then that’s assault under federal law. In a nutshell, assault is:
- A forceful attempt to cause injury
- Physical violence that causes an injury
- Force or attempted force with the intention of committing violence
Assault against a senior is elder abuse. If you suspect your loved one has gotten assaulted, involve the police.
2. Civil Neglect
Is your aging loved one currently in a nursing home? Does a nurse visit your loved one’s home to provide care? If so, then both of those parties have a legal duty to provide care to your loved one.
Neglect describes behaviors that fall outside of the scope of reasonable care. While not illegal, it’s not acceptable behavior for a professional. For instance, forgetting to give your loved one their medications each day is neglect.
When you suspect neglect, you need to consult with an elderly law attorney.
3. Violation of Privacy
Have you ever seen social media posts that highlight elderly adults? While innocent on the surface, these posts are often a violation of privacy for the elderly. After all, would you want your IV treatments posted all over Facebook?
Even worse, any social media post that highlights neglect or abuse needs to get reported.
4. Financial Exploitation
Your loved one worked hard all their life for their money. Yet, they may not be mentally capable of spending it in old age. Care providers may attempt to take advantage of that fact.
Any coercion, theft, or attempt at taking money from the elderly is a crime.
5. Sexual Exploitation
Informed consent is crucial when it comes to sex. Elderly adults may not be able to fully give consent, though. This is especially true if they’re suffering from a mental condition.
Sexual exploitation is a criminal offense. Inform the authorities ASAP if you suspect this type of elder abuse.
Elder Abuse Laws You Should Know About
Elder abuse laws are in place to protect vulnerable and aging adults. Most elder abuse is not only a criminal offense, but a civil violation, too. That means you can seek out justice in both criminal and civil court.
If you still have questions about your elderly loved one’s rights, then speak with an attorney.
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