Who to Call for Elder Abuse


Unfortunately, elderly abuse is becoming a growing problem in the United States. Despite the fact that most people know they must respect their elders and it is wrong, elderly individuals are taken advantage of and abused across multiple cultures residing in the U.S. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, it is estimated that one out of every 10 elderly Americans is mistreated by a loved one or stranger.

Elder abuse can take on numerous forms, including mental, emotional, physical, sexual and financial abuse. The abuse can be by a family member or a caregiver. The abuse can also include abandonment, neglect or misallocation of funds by a professional. Loved ones that suspect elder abuse should contact the authorities and report the abuse immediately.

Family Members Abusing Loved Ones

The reason elder abuse is so widely underreported is because of the personal relationship between the abuser and the abused. Frail family members are unlikely to contact strangers to report their abuse or mistreatment, especially if it is a loved one committing the abuse. Also, most elderly individuals are unaware of their options and do not even know about the abuse prevention and protection programs available to them – so they just accept the abuse and assume they have nowhere to turn.

The National Adult Protective Services Association states that there has been a dramatic increase of elder abuse across the country since the 1980s, but there has not been a unified approach to correct the problem still to this date. There is no one federal agency that is solely tasked with helping the elderly and addressing abuse or mistreatment; the states have been tasked with the job instead.

Every state has its own program for elder and adult abuse protective services, but a lot of that work falls on the shoulders of already overworked social service and health department professionals.

Finding Where to Turn

To report any form of elder abuse, the National Center of Elder Abuse’s State Resources help find state agencies that are tasked with overseeing these types of cases. Even if mistreatment is suspected, family members or friends should report that behavior and initiate an investigation to protect the individual from further abuse. Also the agency can help locate additional resources for caregivers that are overwhelmed and unable to care for their loved one.

Elder abuse is like any other type of violence. If the abuse is severe or it is an emergency situation, individuals can contact the police or even call 911 for help. Families and elderly loved ones injured by caregivers may need to also enlist the services of an attorney to help with compensation.

Was Your Loved One Injured? Speak with an Elder Law Attorney

Sometimes guardianship issues arise during elder abuse cases. The Law Office of Andrew M. Lamkin, P.C. can assist with guardianship requests and help further protect elderly individuals who are being abused by loved ones or their caregivers. Contact us at 516-605-0625 or contact us online to schedule a consultation today.

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