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Elder Abuse or Neglect
Elder abuse is a serious problem in the United States. Around 1 in 6 people 60 years and older experienced some form of abuse in community settings during the past year.
The most common are:
- Physical elder abuse – Physical abuse may include hitting, slapping, pushing, shaking, burning or cutting an elder with a knife
- Emotional elder abuse– Emotional elder abuse is a pattern of behaviors that may include verbal assaults, threats, intimidation, humiliation, guilt-tripping or other forms of punishment designed to control an older adult; this type of behavior has been shown to have negative effects on the elderly person’s mood and well-being.
- Sexual elder abuse – The statistics on sexual elder abuse are alarming. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, one in ten people aged sixty-five or older have experienced some form of sexual assault by a caregiver. In many cases, victims know their abuser and live with them as a family member or household resident. The perpetrator is often someone who abuses their position of power and trust within the familial home–someone close to you.
- Financial exploitation – Financial exploitation may involve taking money from the elderly person’s bank account without permission or forcing them into signing documents they don’t understand.
- Healthcare fraud and abuse– The problem of healthcare fraud and abuse is a major issue in the US, costing an estimated $272 billion annually. There are many different forms of healthcare fraud and abuse that can be committed, including upcoming services, duplicate billing, phantom billing, unnecessary services or procedures for which payment is sought from Medicare or Medicaid.
- Elder neglect– Elder neglect occurs when someone fails to provide necessary care for an elderly person in their life through food, clothing, shelter, and medical attention or safety measures.
- Abandonment– Abandonment occurs when a caregiver or family member abandons their responsibility to care for an elderly person by leaving them alone or not visiting them on a regular basis. This type of abandonment can cause victims to feel lonely, depressed, anxious, and scared as they become more isolated from friends and loved ones. The trauma this inflicts on the victim’s mental health can lead to long-term consequences such as anxiety disorders, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), suicide attempts, substance abuse problems, self-destructive behaviors like cutting or burning.
What Steps Should Be Taken If You Suspect Elder Abuse
If you suspect elder abuse, it is important to report the suspected abuse, if there are signs of physical or emotional neglect or financial exploitation. Abuse of a senior who is not in a health care facility can be reported to the Texas Family and Protective Services Elder Abuse.Call the Texas Abuse Hotline at (800) 252-5400 or 1-512-834-3784.
Elder abuse is considered a felony in Texas, although the circumstances involved determine whether it’s a felony in the first, second, or third degree. Elder abusers who willingly cause serious physical harm on a senior citizen will be convicted of a felony in the first degree. A second degree felony occurs when the abuser causes serious physical harm through a reckless act.
You have a right to be safe and protected from abuse. Roxell Richards Law firm are experienced in dealing with the problems of the elderly and will be familiar with the problems of abuse, neglect and exploitation. If you do not see an answer to one of your questions, and you want an experienced elder abuse attorneys to review your case or that of a family member, please complete our contact form or call us at 713-974-0388 or 1-855-GOT-INJURED. There is no charge or obligation for our review your case.
In addition to taking steps to protect the victim from further abuse, Roxell Richards Law firm may be able to secure the return of assets taken by the exploiter, or to recover damages for the injuries caused by abuse or neglect. In some states, special court proceedings and/or damages may be available to the victim of abuse, neglect or exploitation.
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