If you have a loved one in a nursing home or living on their own under the supervision of a caretaker, you might be worried about their safety. While most of us would love to be able to live with our parents and grandparents and take care of them ourselves, this isn’t always feasible. Plus, our elderly loved ones typically want to maintain a bit of autonomy and choose their living situation on their own. This is completely within their right, but then you are probably interested in ensuring that they stay safe, and are not taken advantage of. Read to learn more about elderly abuse.
If you have suspicions about any potentially unethical treatment, or elderly abuse then hiring a lawyer could help you a great deal. If this is the case and you’re interested in securing help, then read on for more information.
What Is Elder Abuse?
First things first, you need to be clear on the specificities of the term, “elder abuse.” Legally speaking, it primarily pertains to the plundering of a person’s property or money, or forging their signature on a document, such as a will or deed of gift. This is the basis of scams that take advantage of an elderly individual’s vulnerability for the purposes of financial benefit. Therefore, the term does not necessarily apply to violent crime as it seems to denote, but rather, the exploitation of an elderly person’s inability to control their finances, whether for physical or mental reasons. At the same time, criminals have been known to use violent methods to coerce the elderly under their care, so the matter is not entirely divorced from physical abuse.
Hiring Legal Counsel
If you are worried that someone is taking advantage of your loved one, then it is advisable to seek legal counsel. The San Diego experts at www.hamparyan.com recommend staying in touch with the elderly individual you are worried about, and alerting anyone in senior management – if this is at a nursing home – to possible wrongdoing if you have any reason for concern. Simultaneously, hire a personal injury lawyer to help pursue any claim against the caregiver in question. Collect whatever evidence you may have, and present it to the attorney. Civil damages might be granted to help alleviate any financial or physical hardships that may have arisen.
The lawyer will then help you with the investigating side of things. He or she will recommend that you look for physical signs of injury or other telltale signs of neglect. You might also be told to keep an eye out for behavioral changes, such as the elderly individual feeling nervous, depressed, or withdrawn. To collect evidence of financial exploitation, be on the lookout for unpaid bills, missing cash or jewelry, strange and out of character purchases on their credit cards, too many odd cash withdrawals, and so on. The lawyer will give you lots of ideas on what to look for, and help you be on the lookout for hard evidence of abuse.
Different Kinds of Financial Exploitation
The main thing you need to be wary of is financial exploitation. There are so many scammers and con artists these days, out to prey on vulnerable members of the society. A lawyer will help ascertain whether the caregiver in question is a dubious insurance agent or a cunning financial advisor moonlighting as a professional caretaker. This can usually be found out through some research, with your guidance – did the person try to forge your loved one’s signature? A background check will also help confirm whether a case of identity theft, improper dealing with the person’s bank account, misusing the elder’s checks, or credit card fraud has occurred. These are all instances that can feel hard to get a hold of on your own since it’s not likely that you, a layman, will be familiar with this sort of criminal activity. That is why seeking legal counsel early on at the first inkling that something might be amiss will help.
Lawyers specializing in elderly abuse are primarily responsible for proving wrongdoing, and securing financial compensation if your loved one was taken advantage of by a caregiver, especially one representing a nursing home or caregiving facility. Not only that, but good legal counsel will also be able to help you and your family move past this traumatic experience by securing your rights, and keeping everyone safe after the incident. The end game entails making the legal process easier for families to navigate, while also protecting them from having to deal extensively with courts or other bureaucratic entities. Receiving proper financial compensation for abuse while maintaining your mental and emotional health is key when experiencing such a dire scenario.
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