Always Respect Your Elders

Spreading awareness is critical to encourage all people and families to come together and voice their disapproval of the suffering and abuse perpetrated on many of our older generations.

Here are the scary facts:

  • The global population of people aged 60 years and older will more than double, from 900 million in 2015 to about 2 billion in 2050.
  • Every year, an estimated 5 million older Americans are victims of elder abuse, neglect or exploitation.
  • Around 1 in 6 older people experience some form of abuse.  These rates may be much higher for older people living in institutions than in the community.
  • Studies have suggested that for every case of elder abuse or neglect reported, as many as 23 cases go unreported.
  • Elder abuse often leads to long-term psychological consequences and serious physical injuries.
  • Elder abuse is predicted to increase, as many countries are experiencing rapidly aging populations.

Elder abuse can come in many forms:

  • Physical abuse.  Physical abuse may include acts of violence such as hitting, pushing, beating, shoving, shaking, slapping and kicking, pinching and burning.
  • Sexual abuse.  This includes acts like unwanted touching, rape, sodomy, coerced nudity and sexually explicit photographing.
  • Neglect.  This typically means the failure or refusal to provide an elderly person with necessities such as water, food, shelter, clothing, personal hygiene, medicine, comfort, safety and other essentials.
  • Psychological/emotional abuse.  This includes, but is not limited to, verbal assaults, insults, threats, intimidation, humiliation and harassment.
  • Financial exploitation.  Examples include misusing or stealing money or possessions, cashing checks without authorization or permission, forging a signature, coercing or deceiving an older person into signing any document (such as contracts or a will) and the misusing of a guardianship or power of attorney.
  • Abandonment.  This is the desertion of an elderly person by an individual who has assumed responsibility for providing care for an elder. 

Fortunately, there are things you can do to help prevent elder abuse:

  1. Learn the signs of elder abuse and neglect.
  2. Provide a respite break for a caregiver.
  3. Volunteer to be a friendly visitor to a nursing home resident, or to a homebound senior in your neighborhood.
  4. Prevent isolation by calling or visiting your older loved ones and ask how they are doing regularly.
  5. Encourage elders to stay active.
  6. Never house elders with individuals who are known to be violent or abusive.
  7. Make sure background checks and drug screenings are performed on any potential caregiver before hire.
  8. Motivate elderly to attend community gatherings or religious services.
  9. Educate and warn elders to be watchful of solicitations from the internet, telephone or mail.
  10. Contact a local adult protective service or long-term care ombudsman to learn how to support their work helping older people and adults with disabilities who may be more at risk.

Unfortunately, elder abuse can happen to anyone …  a loved one, your neighbor or even you.  Lets all do our part to come together to prevent elder abuse.  The compassionate and experienced attorneys at Hupy and Abraham believe that everyone should be treated with dignity, and that those who have been victims of nursing home neglect or abuse deserve recovery for the preventable injuries that they suffered.  

If you have any additional questions about the types of abuse that elders may experience in a nursing home or assisted living facility, or believe your loved one has been the victim of elder abuse or neglect, please call Hupy and Abraham for a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation today, at 800-800-5678.  You can also start a live chat with us at any time by visiting hupy.com.

Jason F. Abraham
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Managing Partner, Hupy and Abraham