Surprising facts about elder abuse that you need to know
August 12, 2020 at 7:00 AM
Surprising facts about elder abuse that you need to know

At Williams | Boxie Law, our elder abuse lawyer has spent years upholding the rights of those who have been wrongfully harmed. Elder abuse in particular is an important part of our Louisiana law practice.

This area of law is designed to protect elderly individuals from abuse, intimidation, and other forms of harm. We’re sharing these important facts about elder abuse, so you can learn to spot the signs of abuse and take legal action.

1. The majority of elder abuse goes unreported

Most states have laws about mandatory reporting requirements when elder abuse is suspected. Despite this, the majority of elder abuse cases go unreported. The National Council on Aging estimates that 1 in 10 Americans over the age of 60 has experienced some form of elder abuse.

This is the equivalent of up to 5 million abused elders every year. Among these cases of abuse, it’s estimated that only 1 in 14 are actually reported to the authorities. Elder abuse is underreported for a number of reasons. In cases that occur at nursing homes, lower-level staff may fear losing their job due to reporting their colleagues.

Abused individuals are also very unlikely to report that they’ve been abused out of fear of retaliation. Or, they might depend on the abuser for their care and basic needs. In other cases, the abused person might not be physically or mentally competent to report their abuse.

2. Elder abuse isn’t just physical harm

Unexplained bruises are some of the top signs to look out for if you suspect a loved one is being abused. However, it’s important to know that elder abuse can take many forms, including:

  • Emotional abuse: Emotionally abused elders may suffer from harassment, forced isolation, and intimidation by their caregivers.
  • Neglect and deprivation: Elders depend on their caregivers for basic needs, such as shelter, food, water, and adequate medical care. Failing to provide these necessities is a form of abuse.
  • Sexual abuse: Unfortunately, elderly people are especially vulnerable to sexual abuse, such as unwanted touching and other sexual activity.
  • Financial abuse: This occurs when a caregiver, family member, or anyone else uses threats of violence or intimidation for monetary gain. Financial abuse against elders also includes scams.

3. Elder abuse doesn’t only occur at nursing homes

Some families choose to place their elderly loved ones in a nursing home so they can access around-the-clock medical care. Unfortunately, elderly people are among the most vulnerable patients. They may suffer from physical and sexual abuse by staff. Or, their basic needs of daily living might not be met, leading to dehydration and poor health.

That said, nursing homes aren’t the only place where elder abuse occurs. In fact, the Department of Justice estimates that the majority of elder abuse occurs at home.

If you suspect an older loved one is being abused, keep an eye out for these warning signs:

  • Unexplained bruises or scratches.
  • Unexplained changes in behavior, such as anxiety, withdrawal, depression, or hypervigilance.
  • Bedsores, poor hygiene, and sudden weight loss.
  • Drastic changes in finances.

Speak to an elder abuse lawyer in Baton Rouge, LA

If you or a loved one is a victim of elder abuse, you may be entitled to financial compensation. While compensation can’t undo acts of abuse, it can help your family obtain justice and closure.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation with our elder abuse lawyer. Our convenient offices serve the Baton Rouge and Baker areas in Louisiana.