Do you believe you have witnessed signs of elder abuse but are not sure? It is understandable to feel reluctant to accuse someone of committing elder abuse. It is expected that elder citizens will be treated with the courtesy, respect, and dignity they deserve. If you suspect an elderly family member or member of the community is suffering abuse, it is your civic duty to report it.
There are a number of common types of elder abuse that are recognized under the law. However, the following list is not exhaustive, so always report to the relevant authorities so an investigation may take place. You can find further information on reporting elder abuse from the Division of Aging Services.
Physical Elder Abuse
Incidents such as punching, pushing, kicking, restraining, or falsely imprisoning are examples of physical elder abuse. You may witness such abuse or detect signs such as cuts, bruises, or burns. In any case, this type of elder abuse can escalate and result in serious injury or death. Talk to the loved one or community member about any unexplained injuries or report your suspicions if you believe the person is in danger.
Psychological elder abuse can take many forms but typically involves some sort of coercion. The abuser may shout at the elderly person, or use name-calling, ridicule, criticism, and other types of emotional abuse to coerce the person into doing what the abuser wants. This type of abuse is just as harmful and potentially fatal as physical abuse, so report any concerns you have about the safety of an elderly relative or friend.
Financial exploitation is a type of elder abuse whereby the abuser misappropriates financial resources. The abuse may be a family member, stranger, or caregiver. Motives for financial abuse vary, although it often leads to other types of abuse once the abuser believes he will get away with his crimes. Financial abuse can continue for months or even years without detection.
Sexual abuse is one of the most heinous crimes one person can commit against another and, unfortunately, elders are one of the most vulnerable groups when it comes to abuse of this nature. Types of elder abuse involving sexual touching, forced participation in sexual conversations, and non-consensual sexual activity are often difficult to discover, as incidents typically occur behind closed doors and against vulnerable members of the community who can’t speak out (for example, dementia sufferers).
Neglect covers a number of different types of elder abuse. Depriving medication, treatment, warmth, clothing, or food are the main types of negligence. These actions are typically associated with family members or caregivers. Other examples may include putting an elderly person at risk through negligently leaving them unattended.
H. Lehman Franklin P.C.
For legal support when you suspect elder abuse in Georgia, reach out to the offices of H. Lehman Franklin P.C. at 912-764-9616, or by email at email@example.com. We specialize in all relevant areas of the law and can provide expert consultation and representation.