As our loved ones age they can become extremely dependent on others due to a foggy memory, increased frailty, loss of motor skills, or other effects of old age. This can mean relocating the elderly to a “home,” or hiring a live-in caregiver to assist with daily tasks. In some of these situations the elderly can be abused or neglected, and it may be hard to tell when that is happening.
There are obvious forms of abuse like physical and sexual which leave visible evidence like bruises and scars that can be spotted by someone outside of the family. But other abuse methods are more sinister because they are harder to notice. Emotional abuse through insults, repeated yelling, humiliation, isolation, or neglect of their needs can go unnoticed for long periods of time before it is too late.
Elders may also be in a situation of financial duress. An unscrupulous caregiver might misuse an elder’s personal checks, credit cards, or accounts. They may even steal cash, income checks, or household goods, engage in identity theft or worse. Common rackets these unscrupulous caregivers may use are: announcements of a “prize” that the elderly person has won but must pay money to claim, phony charities, and investment fraud. This is not a comprehensive list; there are many ways to financially abuse an elderly person.
It is important to keep in contact with your relatives and pay attention for signs of abuse. If you live far away from your relative, be sure to call regularly and talk to them as well as the caregiver; make sure you talk to the relative though as the caregiver may try to restrict access to them. If you can, try to visit at least once a month, announced or unannounced and watch for any warning signs.
If you feel that a relative has experienced abuse in a care facility, or that a wrongful death has resulted from the prolonged abuse of a relative you can call the professional attorneys at The Law Office of Collier and Collier. We understand that abuse is shocking, and we will do everything we can to help bring legal closure to the situation for you and your family.
Call our offices toll free today 877.825.0543.