Seniors are among the most vulnerable segment of society. Many Louisiana seniors have fallen victim to elder abuse in a number of ways, including financially, physically and emotionally. In fact, the National Council on Aging indicates at least 10% of adults 60 years of age or older in the country have suffered some form of elder abuse. The issue has become a global social one.
The United States enacted the Elder Justice Act in 2010 with federal funding aimed at preventing, detecting, treating, understanding and intervening in elder abuse cases. It also paves the way for prosecuting those who abuse, neglect and exploit seniors. This law was instated to try to keep elders safe from abuse at the hands of caregivers, scam artists and even from some family members.
All 94 U.S. Attorneys’ offices work with state and local officials to try to thwart incidents of elder abuse. In fact, elder justice coordinators have been installed at all of these offices in all federal judicial districts. Meanwhile, the Act paved the way for funding to help elder abuse victims, more thorough data collection and harsher penalties for financial fraud crimes against seniors.
Abuse of the elderly in any way is against the law. Louisiana seniors who believe they may have suffered abuse have the right to speak with an attorney regarding their options. If a senior cannot act on his or her behalf, a family member can speak to an attorney on an elderly loved one’s behalf. Some people might not be aware of the laws that govern keeping seniors safe from harm. A lawyer may be able to answer any questions a person who is in the situation might have.