The Most Common Forms of Elder Abuse
Our aging citizens are among our most vulnerable citizens, which makes elder abuse crime especially egregious. While every charge of elder abuse is unique to the alleged crime in question, several forms of this type of abuse are most common.
Physical abuse of the elderly population is the most common form of elder abuse – and the most obvious. Physical abuse refers to when one person uses force against someone else and causes harm – such as pain, injury, or impairment – in the process. The elderly tend to be more vulnerable to physical abuse because our physical strength diminishes as we age, and because we become more susceptible to physical injuries. Even grabbing someone advanced in age can leave them seriously bruised, and a fall that a younger person pays little attention to can cause an older person to suffer a fracture.
While abuse is often quite obvious, neglect of the elderly can slip through the cracks until it leads to problems that are quite serious. Some of the telltale signs of neglect (on the part of those caring for the aging, such as in nursing homes) can include:
Exhibiting signs of dehydration or malnutrition, including an unexplained weight loss
Appearing messy, unkempt, or unclean
Residing in an unsanitary living space
Living in a living area with tripping hazards
Not receiving required medications according to a regular schedule
Having physical symptoms that go untreated
Because neglect is more difficult to detect, it can be nearly as dangerous as abuse.
Intentionally dropping off an aging person who requires one's care – even if it is at a nursing home, healthcare facility, or hospital – without the proper advance notice can lead to charges of abandonment.
Emotional abuse is still abuse, and it can be extremely damaging, which is why it is against the law. Some forms of emotional abuse include:
Humiliating, demeaning, insulting, intimidating, or threatening the person
Isolating the person
Calling the person names
Terrorizing the person
Refusing to allow the person access to necessary resources
Sexual abuse can happen to anyone, including the aging, and signs can include:
Bruising of the inner thighs
Pain or bleeding in the genital area
Bloody or otherwise stained underwear
An STD diagnosis
Financial abuse of the elderly is not uncommon. It involves someone using another person's money either illegally, improperly, or without his or her permission. Sometimes, this crime consists of taking advantage of the person's mental fragility, and sometimes, it is outright theft.
It Is Time to Consult with an Experienced Killeen Criminal Lawyer
If you are facing charges related to elder abuse, you need the professional legal counsel of an experienced criminal lawyer on your side. Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Killeen, Texas, is a dedicated criminal lawyer committed to helping you build your most robust defense in support of your legal rights and pursuing your case's best outcome. To learn more, please do not hesitate to contact us online or call us at 254-501-4040 today.