There are often many people who are suspects in elder abuse cases. These may be caretakers such as the occasional nanny to the house, nursing home staff if the elder is a resident of a healthcare facility, and even their own spouse. Despite this, it is often the case that a close family member such as a child, grandchild, in-laws, nieces or nephews, and other relatives are the real perpetrators of abuse. No matter the offender, it is imperative that you reach out to an elder abuse attorney such as Joe Bryant if you suspect your elderly relative is the victim of an abuse case.
Signs of Abuse – What to Look for in Senior Citizens
One of the primary responsibilities of those close to a senior citizen, despite who is inflicting the abuse, is determining if there is a potential for abuse or neglect to be occurring. Luckily, there are some standard examples of common signs that may point to abuse in an elderly individual – even if they are unable to speak up and identify the culprit themselves.
- Large and unexplained mood swings
- Lack of motivation
- Changes in personality, behavior, or routine
- Unexplainable lacerations, burns, bruises, welts, and other physical signs of injury
- Dirty or unkempt clothing
- Poor personal hygiene
- General confusion
- Difficulty or adversity to performing everyday tasks
If it is suspected that an elder is displaying these symptoms and suffering from abuse, It is important to get in contact with authorities and an attorney as soon as possible. Taking as much action as quickly as possible is a critical step in ensuring that not only does the abuse stop, but that the perpetrator is brought to justice.
The California Study on Family Involvement in Elder Abuse Cases
While common knowledge may make it hard to believe that one of the most common types of people responsible for the pain and suffering of an elder is a family member, a study published by the University of Southern California, Alhambra, proves otherwise. According to researchers, approximately 47% of cases involving elder abuse from 2014 to 2017 resulted in a family member being identified as the abuser. The researchers concluded their study by stating that the most commonly cited perpetrators of elder abuse were family members.
There are many motivations for family members to abuse their elderly relatives. A common one is physical abuse which is usually stress or frustration taken out on the senior citizen. Other cases may involve sexual abuse, where a family member attempts to stimulate themselves or the helpless elder for their own benefit. Another commonly cited example of abuse is that of finances. Many family members may opt to take advantage of the vulnerability and lack of awareness of senior relatives for personal financial gain.
The Attorney on Stand-By to Fight for Your Family
Dealing with someone who may be in your own family and abusing one of your loved ones can be an excruciating experience. For both the family and the victim, it is a difficult situation to face and deal with. In any case, it is crucial that this is brought to an end and the rights of your loved one restored.
It is highly encouraged to enlist the help of an experienced San Diego elder abuse attorney such as Joel Bryant as these lawyers will be able to take the reins and fight for justice. Joel Bryant has over 30 years of experience and a “no fees unless we win” policy. Contact us today to learn more.