Abuse of the most vulnerable of society is a concern for everyone. And when an elderly loved one is the victim, you may be left confused about the steps you should take to extract the elder from the abusive situation and make sure that he or she is left whole after the experience. Although elder law litigation may sound like an extreme measure, in some situations it is the correct response.
Elderly people of every gender, race and net worth experience abuse. Typically, the abuse is at the hands of someone the elder trusted most, so much of the abuse happens without detection. Family members and other caregivers can be the most frequent perpetrators of elder abuse. Elder abuse can take the form of physical abuse, financial abuse, neglect, abandonment, isolation or even abduction. Any time an elderly person suffers, whether physically or mentally, elder abuse is a real possibility.
If you notice any of the following, your loved one may be a victim of elder abuse:
- A change in his or her appearance
- Odd banking activity, or
- Changes in deeds, will, trusts or other estate planning documents.
If your loved-one’s caregiver is more concerned about the elder’s finances than her or his mental or physical condition, that may be a sign of financial abuse. Another sign of abuse may be a caregiver who appears to be attempting to keep the elder isolated from his or her friends and family.
The first priority may be to remove the elder from an abusive situation. Medical and psychiatric care may then be necessary. And if financial abuse is a factor, it will be necessary to determine the extent of the elder’s financial damages.
If you are dealing with the aftermath of elder abuse, the advice of an experienced Arizona elder law litigation attorney may be invaluable. Call our offices for a consultation.