Elder Abuse & Neglect Attorney
Akron & Canton, Ohio
Elder abuse and neglect is an umbrella term that covers harmful behavior not only in an institutional setting but also in homes and other locations.
Elder neglect and abuse also cut across all socioeconomic and geographic categories, although research indicates that women, homebound or isolated elders and those older than 80 are most at risk. Risk factors include:
- Poor physical health or dementia
- Social withdrawal or isolation
- Substance abuse or mental health problems on the part of the elder or the caregiver
Although elder abuse and neglect are widespread, theyíre also often hard to recognize and, therefore, not regularly reported to authorities. But awareness of a few important warning signs can protect elders and keep them safe, physically, psychologically and financially.
Physical abuse is one of the most difficult types of elder abuse to address. Concerns about insulting the possible victim or unfairly accusing the suspected perpetrator sometimes prevent the abuse from being reported.
However, in the end, the elderís safety and protection need to be the deciding factors when these signs of abuse are present:
- Inadequately explained cuts, fractures, welts, sores or burns
- Unexplained sexually transmitted diseases
Bullying is often seen as a danger to school children, but the elderly also are frequent targets. Signs of emotional abuse include:
- Unusual or unexplained changes in behavior, such as avoiding normal activities
- Isolation of the elder, such as the caregiver refusing to let anyone into the home or speak with the victim
- Verbal aggression on the caregiverís part, as well as demeaning, controlling or uncaring behavior by the caregiver
Financial exploitation is a form of elder abuse that can take many forms. Warning signs include:
- Lack of affordable comforts or amenities in the seniorís home
- Giving unusually excessive gifts or money for needed care or companionship
- A caregiver who has control over the elderís funds doesnít provide for the personís needs
- A senior has signed legal documents without understanding their meaning
While the signs of elder neglect can be subtle, neglect is just as much of a danger to elders as abuse. Some of the most common signs that a senior is being neglected include:
- Lack of basic hygiene or appropriate clothing
- Lack of medication or food
- Missing glasses, walker, dentures or other medical aids
- Home is cluttered, dirty, in disrepair or lacks adequate facilities, such as appliances, plumbing or electricity
- Untreated bed sores
If elder abuse or neglect is suspected, the senior needs to be protected by reporting incidents to the proper authorities. Local adult protective services agencies can provide vital assistance in such difficult circumstances.
Registered nurse attorney Angela T. Vagotis, represents Akron & Canton, Ohio victims of elder abuse and neglect to ensure that their rights and safety are protected.
Contact Angela at 330-456-4122 or fill out this form for more information.