Elder abuse is increasing in frequency everywhere and this includes San Francisco, California all the way south to San Diego and in between. And this mayhem is generally committed by individuals, who are close in relations to the senior citizen. The relative may want the elder’s assets or property and attempt to get this by various means for themselves. They may try to influence the older adult, make threats, physical abuse, assault, improperly administering medication.
It could even go so far as giving too low an amount or too much, especially when it comes to sedative type medications that result in making the elderly person more dependent on the relatives. They may also isolate the older individual to make them more dependent on the relatives and so no other relatives or friends realize what is going on. Elder abuse in any form is not only perpetuated by relatives of the older adult, it can be carried out by a caregiver, nursing home staff or other individual.
What Class of Senior Citizens Might be Abused?
Any older adult can be subjected to abuse, there are no specific parameters. Gender, race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status or educational qualifications are not determining factors in this type of crime, for either the older adult or the abuser. The victim of elderly abuse will usually suffer without reporting the incidences that are taking place, out of fear that they may be placed in a nursing home or other facility. The older person may not report this, because the abuser is a loved one, a daughter, son, grandchild or other relative, who they do not want to be arrested. The other reason that this is an under-reported type of crime is when it occurs in a nursing home, the senior is afraid the abuse may become worse if they tell.
Types of Elder Abuse
Elder abuse can be in various forms, it can be physical involving hitting, shoving and restraining. Neglect is another form, which can involve the senior not being provided food or water, lack of personal care such as bathing, or using sedatives and improper administration of medications. The use of sedatives will make it impossible for the senior to communicate with other relatives, friends or neighbors. Financial exploitation and sexual abuse are other kinds of abuse the elderly individual may be a victim, cheating them out of money and possessions.
Neglect can include the elderly victim being denied appropriate clothing, shelter and adequate medical care. They may not be prevented from harming himself or herself, by exposure to dangerous chemicals or implements. There may be a failure on the part of the caregiver or relative to provide food and other forms of nutrition, which can result in sickness, debilitated health and an untimely death. In any of these situations, it is crucial to contact an elderly or nursing home abuse lawyer, who can protect the rights of the senior citizen.
The older adult that is a victim of emotional abuse may not be aware they are suffering abuse of a criminal nature. The victim traumatized by the abuser may suffer various elements of emotional torment, such as shouting, real or imagined threats, living in constant fear, the abuser may use tactics like not paying attention to the older adult or sulking, and they may interfere with the older adult’s social and private life. The senior allows this behavior to continue, out of fear of being left alone or removed from their home.
In San Francisco, California financial abuse of the elderly can be a wide range of offenses, and as simple as taking money from the elder’s wallet, without permission. This type of abuse can be using the senior citizen’s credit cards for personal expenses, or convincing them to sign over their property, providing the abuser with a power of attorney over their finances and other assets. This form of abuse is often perpetuated through the use of coercion, physical assault and threats.
This is a dangerous form of abuse, since it can deplete the life savings of the older adult and leave them unable to provide for themselves. If you are aware of emotional or other elder abuse occurring, it is your moral duty to report the abuse. This will ensure the elderly person can be protected from harm and permitted to live out their life without continuing to be a victim of their abuser.
The good news is that although this type of bad stuff is increasing in frequency, it does not mean that it cannot be stopped, prevented, or redressed. This is what great attorneys are there for, and if you need one, you can always call one of our contributors.