Elder abuse is prevalent across the United States and occurs every day here in Arizona. In order to end elder abuse, we as a community must first understand the problem and learn to identify the risk factors associated with this devastating crime against the elderly.
The Center For Disease Control (CDC) defines elder abuse as “an intentional act, or failure to act, by a caregiver or another person in a relationship involving an expectation of trust that causes or creates a risk of harm to an older adult. ” Elder abuse takes many forms, including physical, sexual, emotional, neglect, and financial abuse.
It is often difficult to determine which seniors are at-risk for elder abuse because elder abuse spans private homes and nursing facilities and exists in every socio-economic group. The following are identified risk factors for elder abuse:
• Being female;
• Living with others;
• Being socially isolated;
• Having a chronic illness or disability;
• Having dementia or a mental health condition;
• Recently losing a friend or loved one;
• Maintaining poor or distant relationships with family members;
• Lacking cultural or community support;
• Being a substance abuser;
• Having poor or limited technological or financial literacy;
• Having a low income;
• Possessing valuable assets; and
• Making regular financial deposits.
Seniors may be at a higher risk of elder abuse at the hands of some caregivers. These are caregivers with the following characteristics:
• A diagnosed mental illness;
• Alcohol abuse;
• High levels of hostility;
• Poor or inadequate preparation or training for caregiving responsibilities;
• A young age;
• Inadequate coping skills;
• A history of childhood abuse;
• High financial and emotional dependence upon the elder;
• Past disruptive behavior;
• A Lack of social support; and
• A lack of formal institutional or educational support.
Elder abuse may also occur in communities where caregiving services are unavailable or limited, or there are predominantly negative attitudes towards the elderly. Facilities with staffing issues, high burnout rates, and operating under stressful conditions are potential locations for elder abuse.
If you are afraid, your loved one is in danger of imminent harm, or their life is in peril, remove them from their surroundings immediately. After ensuring their safety and well-being, call the authorities.
If a crime was committed, this would include any type of abuse, call law enforcement. If you suspect abuse of a senior in a private home, you can call Adult Protective Services at (877) SOS-ADULT.
To learn more about elder abuse in Phoenix and protect yourself or your loved one from a suspected abuser, reach out to an experienced attorney at Knapp & Roberts. Our elder abuse attorneys help seniors, and their families hold negligent and abusive facilities and caregivers responsible for the pain and suffering they inflict on the innocent.
Speak with a compassionate elder abuse attorney in a confidential consultation. At Knapp & Roberts, we will listen to you, assess your case, and recommend any available legal options.
The personal injury attorneys in Phoenix, Arizona, at Knapp & Roberts have the compassion and trial lawyer skills to tell your story to a jury. We will get to know you and your family so that we can help the jury understand what has happened to you and your family and how it has changed your lives. Obtain the compensation necessary for the injuries and losses you have suffered.