While the commonsense definition of elder abuse may seem intuitive to most of us, legally there are many exploitative actions that may lead to civil or criminal penalties. Actions that qualify as elder abuse may include physical or emotional abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse, or exploitation and neglect. The result of such elder abuse or elder neglect is the ruining of someone’s golden years. At worst, the result is wrongful death.
What is Adult Neglect?
Neglect means the failure or omission on the part of the caregiver to provide the care, supervision, and services necessary to maintain the physical and mental health of a vulnerable adult, including but not limited to food, clothing, medicine, shelter, supervision and medical services, which a prudent person would consider essential for the well-being of a vulnerable adult. The term “neglect” also means the failure of a caregiver or vulnerable adult to make a reasonable effort to protect a vulnerable adult from abuse, neglect or exploitation by others. “Neglect” is repeated conduct or a single incident of carelessness, which produces or could reasonably be expected to result in serious physical or psychological injury, or a substantial risk of death.
Elder abuse through neglect is becoming more common. As more seniors enter nursing homes, there seem to be more and more companies that want to take in patients; take as much money from taxpayers as they can through Medicare, Medicaid, or Tricare; and hire the smallest number of nurses and caregivers possible. That combination is greedy and is a recipe for disaster. Nursing homes run by such companies end up with too many residents and patients and too few staff people to care for them.
Elder abuse can often be difficult to detect given the decreased socialization and activity levels of the elderly. Abusers are also often in positions of power and can have close relationships with the victim, further complicating detection and prosecution. Common abusers include family members, caregivers or fiduciaries, all of which are in a position of inherent trust by the victim gave their relationships.
Therefore, if you or someone you know is an elder person (over the age of 60) that has been abused or is currently being abused, you may be entitled to compensation.
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