Committed To Getting Justice For Victims Of Elder Abuse
Elder abuse is the mistreatment of an older adult through either intentional or negligent acts. At Marks Elder Law, we understand that it can be devastating to learn your loved one was the victim of abuse, and we fight hard to ensure those responsible for the abuse are held financially accountable for pain and suffering they caused, and to deter such conduct in the future.
What Is Elder Abuse?
As an individual ages, they can develop illnesses or other health conditions that make them frail or incapable of making their own decisions. They must rely on others to provide them with the care they need. Their infirmities also make them susceptible to mistreatment by those entrusted to care for them.
The abuse they suffer can come in many forms, including.
- Physical abuse: The abuser hits, kicks, punches, strikes, restrain, or uses some other type of physical force to inflict injury or pain on the victim.
- Mental abuse: The abuser yells at, demeans, humiliates, threatens, or inflicts other types of verbal assaults on the victim.
- Sexual abuse: The abuser has non-consensual sex with the victim, or the abuser has sex with a victim who is unable to give consent or understand what is happening.
- Neglect: The abuser fails to provide the victim with the care they need. The neglect can be intentional, such as withholding necessities from the elder, or unintentional, such as not providing necessities because of a lack of resources or inattentiveness.
- Financial abuse: The abuser steals from the victim. Theft can be physically taking money or using coercion or deception to make the elder give them cash or access to financial accounts.
Signs Of Elder Abuse
Unfortunately, thousands of elders suffer from some form of abuse each year. The abuse can be committed by any number of people, including family, friends, caregivers, or unscrupulous individuals.
An elder may not report the abuse because they are embarrassed to be a victim of abuse, or embarrassed that a family or friend committed the abuse, they may fear retaliation, or they are unable to speak because of a health condition.
People close to the elder should watch for signs of physical or emotional abuse or neglect, which may include.
- Unexplained injuries, bruises or scars
- Torn or soiled clothing
- Avoidance of certain people
- Malnourishment or dehydration
- Poor hygiene
- Rashes, skin problems
- Unhealthy environment
- Fearfulness, agitation, depression, traumatized presentation
People close to the elderly should also watch out for signs of financial abuse, which may include:
- Outright theft, forgery, using the property or credit of an elderly person without permission
- A sudden decline in the standard of living, or placement inconsistent with financial resources
- Caregivers or family objecting to money being spent on the elder’s care
- A new friend, caregiver or romantic relationship exerting inappropriate control or influence
- Caregiver or family members overriding the elderly person’s wishes
- Isolating the elderly person from family, friends or other prior relationships
- Complaints or confusion about stolen or misplaced checks, checkbooks, credit cards, etc.
- Sudden changes in banking or financial practices
- Sudden or inappropriate changes in estate planning such as power of attorney or will
- Far-fetched explanations of why money was spent, or gifts to questionable charities
- Large credit cards charges or an increase in credit card debt
Report to authorities any instance of suspected abuse immediately, and, if possible, remove the elder from the situation so they are no longer subject to mistreatment.
Protecting The Rights Of You And Your Loved Ones
Having a loved one suffer elder abuse can be a painful experience for you and your loved one. You don’t want to see or hear about your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, or any of the elders in your life being mistreated, especially if the elder is unable to report the abuse themselves. At Marks Elder Law, we understand the emotional impact elder abuse can have on the victim and the people in their lives. Our Pittsburgh elder abuse attorneys can help you pursue civil litigation against the abuser.