How Your Cell Phone Can Help in an Elder Abuse Case

elder abuseElder abuse is a growing issue in the United States. While estimates vary, it is believed that four to six percent of elderly Americans are abused. According to research provided by the National Incidence Study on Elder Abuse, approximately 450,000 elderly individuals experienced some form of abuse in 1996.

What is Elder Abuse?

Elder abuse does not have to be physical, though physical contact is the most common. Any form of mistreatment that results in harm or a loss is considered abuse under the law. The New York State Office for Aging categorizes elder abuse into several categories, including:

  • Physical Abuse – Any physical force that results in serious bodily injury, impairment, or pain. This can include assault, battery, or the use of inappropriate restraints.
  • Sexual Abuse – Any non-consensual sexual act of any kind with an elderly individual.
  • Domestic Violence – Violence from an intimate partner or family member, especially when the violent acts are used to exercise power or control.
  • Psychological Abuse – While no bodily injury occurs, psychological abuse is still against the law. This can include the willful infliction of emotional or mental anguish, humiliation, threats, or verbal conduct.
  • Neglect – This applies to caregivers (both professional and family) who fail to provide a reasonable level of care under elderly care standards.
  • Financial Abuse – This includes the illegal use of an elderly person’s property, resources, and funds.

How a Cell Phone Can Help

Whether an elderly individual is being cared for in a professional facility or in their own home, providing them with a cell phone can help prove elder abuse. Just some ways a cell phone can help include:

  • Contacting Authorities – Many elderly victims do not report their abuse simply because they are kept from using a phone. By providing them with a cell phone, they are more likely to contact the authorities or loved ones to report abuse.
  • Video – Capturing video of threats, battery, sexual misconduct, or even psychological abuse offers key evidence in proving that the abuse exists.
  • Photos – A cell phone can be used to capture photographs of injuries immediately after the abuse – including restraint marks. Because cell phones are equipped with Meta data, they will automatically timestamp when the photo occurred, which can later be used at trial.

Speak with an Attorney Regarding Your Elder Abuse Case

Elderly individuals are a prime target for abusers, especially elderly individuals with dementia. If you suspect abuse, contact the authorities and then an attorney right away. At the Law Office of Andrew M. Lamkin, PC we offer comprehensive representation for elderly individuals to ensure that their rights and health are protected – especially when they cannot protect themselves. Contact attorney Andrew M. Lamkin online or call 516-605-0625.

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