The elderly deserve respect. When a person has lived their life and reached an older age, they deserve to be taken care of either by family members or by trained staff inside their home or at assisted living facilities. Unfortunately, the abuse of the elderly is much more common than most people realize. In fact, the abuse of the elderly with disabilities is even more prevalent. Here, we want to discuss elder abuse statistics, examine why this type of abuse is more common in those with disabilities, and talk about what you can do if you discover your loved one has been the victim of abuse.
Most Common Types of Abuse That Occurs to the Disabled Elderly
If we examine data available from the National Council on Aging, we can see that around one out of every ten Americans aged 60 and over have experienced some form of elder abuse. There are some estimates that say as many as five million elderly people in this country are abused each year. However, there are groups of elderly individuals who face a higher risk of sustaining abuse than others. This includes elderly individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Studies show that around 40% of all adults over 65 years of age have at least one disability. These disabilities can range in severity and types, and often revolve around cognitive issues as well as physical ailments.
Unfortunately, there are those who seek to harm elderly individuals with disabilities. Some of the types of abuse that most regularly occur to these individuals include the following:
- Physical abuse. This includes any type of physical abuse against a disabled adult, such as slapping, punching, pulling, pushing, burning, etc. This can also include the unreasonable use of confinement or restraints.
- Sexual abuse. Sexual abuse occurs anytime an elderly disabled person is subjected to threats of sexual assault or actual physical sexual assault.
- Emotional and psychological abuse. This form of abuse involves inflicting emotional or psychological pain through various means, including intimidation, threats, and verbal abuse. This can include threatening an elderly individual with harm, continual insults, or even non-verbal actions that are meant to stimulate fear.
- Financial abuse. This type of abuse occurs anytime someone exploits or mishandles the property of a disabled elderly person. This can include accessing bank accounts or any other type of asset or even manipulating or coercing a disabled adult.
- Neglect. This involves caretakers purposely withholding a disabled elderly person’s basic necessities. This can include denying access to medical care, food, water, shelter, or clothing.
Contact an Elder Abuse Attorney Immediately
If you suspect that your elderly loved one has been abused, you need to seek legal assistance as soon as possible. A skilled San Diego elder abuse lawyer will be able to handle every aspect of your claim on behalf of you and your loved one. The role of an elder abuse attorney in these cases is multifaceted and begins with conducting a complete investigation into the incident. This will include obtaining any evidence needed to prove liability. An attorney can also help ensure that these claims get filed on time within the statute of limitation requirements, and they will vigorously negotiate with all parties involved to recover fair compensation for the victim.