Elder abuse can take place in any nursing facility or as a result of an at-home caretaker not caring for your family member appropriately. Elder abuse is a serious concern and not something to be taken lightly. Sometimes, this kind of abuse is physical, but it can also take other forms.
Three main types of elder abuse that you need to know about are financial abuse, emotional abuse and physical abuse. Any of these kinds of abuse can not only cause your loved one to suffer, but can also impact the person’s estate.
1. Financial abuse
Financial abuse is the main type of abuse that impacts an estate. With this kind of abuse, a person exploits the elderly party to gain access to his or her accounts and finances. The person may become the elder’s new “best friend” or begin to steal possessions from the elderly party piece by piece. It’s important to identify financial abuse early to prevent your loved one from changing the terms of his or her will or trust, especially if he or she is not in a sound mental state to do so.
2. Emotional abuse
Emotional abuse includes any act that intentionally causes pain or distress through verbal or non-verbal contact. Some of the signs to look for include depression or unusual behaviors like biting or nervous tics. A person could emotionally abuse an elder to make him or her feel guilty or unloved, so he or she will change a will or trust in the abuser’s favor.
3. Physical abuse
Physical abuse is the main type of elder abuse that most people think of when they hear the word “abuse.” Physical elder abuse could include pushing, punching, pinching, slapping or otherwise injuring an elderly person intentionally. Dehydration or malnutrition from not receiving the appropriate care is another form of physical abuse. Physical abuse may also be used to threaten or intimidate an elderly person into changing his or her will or other documents in the abuser’s favor.
These are a few kinds of abuse you may notice. If you do, an experienced elder law attorney can help you step in and fight against the dangers your loved one is facing.