Suspect Elderly Abuse? How an Attorney can Help
If you suspect that your loved one has been a victim of elder abuse, it is important to report it right away, given the serious harm that can result. Even if you are not sure that abuse is actually taking place, the first step would be to report your suspicions. Every state is different and has its own form of social service agencies that are responsible for addressing the abuse of children and elders. Attorneys Oklahoma City affiliated with Burton Law Group can help you if you believe you have an elder abuse case.
What is Elder Abuse?
Thousands of elders are abused and neglected every year. The victims tend to be frail and vulnerable. They depend on others to meet their basic needs. Abusers of elders can be men or women, or even family members or friends. If you suspect elder abuse, you may have a case and should consult with an Oklahoma elder abuse attorney.
Elder abuse refers to any intentional, knowing, or negligent act by a caretaker or other person that results in serious harm or risk to a vulnerable adult. There are elder abuse prevention laws in all 50 states. Elder abuse can also present itself in various ways including:
- Physical abuse- means to inflict injury or pain on an elder including bruising, slapping, or restraining in a physical way.
- Sexual abuse- is any non-consensual sexual contact of any sort.
- Neglect- failure by caretakers to provide shelter, food, health care, or even protection for an elder individual.
- Exploitation-illegally misusing, taking, or concealing funds, property, or assets of an elder for the benefit of another person.
- Emotional abuse- to inflict mental pain, distress, or anguish on an elder individual via nonverbal or verbal acts such as threatening, humiliating, or intimidating.
- Self-neglect- failing to perform self-care tasks that are essential that puts the elder’s health or safety at risk.
Warning Signs of Elder Abuse
Even though certain signs may not indicate that abuse is happening, there are some signs that may indicate there is an issue going on such as:
- Pressure marks, bruises, broken bones, burns, or abrasions may indicate that neglect, mistreatment, or physical abuse is occurring.
- Sudden withdrawal from normal tasks, unusual depression, and a sudden change in alertness may indicate emotional abuse.
- Bruises surrounding the genital area or breasts may occur from sexual abuse.
- Unattended medical needs, poor hygiene, bedsores, and unusual weight loss may indicate neglect.
- Odd behavior such as threats, belittling, and other power control methods by spouses of indicators of emotional or verbal abuse.
- Tense or strained relationships, arguments between the elder and caretaker are also signs that abuse is occurring.
If you suspect any of these signs, it is imperative that you reach out to an Oklahoma elder abuse lawyer who can begin an investigation on your behalf.
How can an attorney help?
If you suspect elder abuse is taking place against your loved one, lawyers OKC can assist you. You should not wait to handle the complaint on your own. An experienced attorney that specializes in elder abuse can walk you through the process of investigating abuse that may be occurring. Oklahoma elder abuse attorneys can also protect your loved one and file a claim.
An OKC elder abuse attorney can also help you collect evidence. It may be difficult to stay with your loved one at all times, but when working with an experienced attorney, you will be given important advice about how to collect evidence.
Your attorney will also help you figure out your next steps. Maybe you need to remove your loved one from a certain nursing home. Or maybe you can prevent the abuser from having access to your loved one. An elder abuse attorney will give you a better idea of these possible steps.
An Oklahoma City elder abuse attorney can also help you understand what compensation your loved one deserves if they are the victim of abuse. You may be able to claim compensation for the following:
- Pain and suffering
- Medical bills acquired that resulted from abuse
- Finances lost to financial abuse
- Expenses of transferring your loved one to another care facility
- Expenses you may have lost as a result of managing your loved one’s medical needs following abuse