Abuse of the elderly can be quite common, but that doesn’t mean that it’s okay or that it should be tolerated. Many older adults rely heavily on their family members or hired caregivers to help them with everyday tasks such as eating, bathing, paying bills, cleaning the house and ensuring that they take any required medication on time. This responsibility can sometimes be overwhelming and stressful for caregivers, which opens up the door to abuse. If you suspect that a loved one is being abused, use these tips from an elder law attorney to remove them from the situation.
Understanding Abuse And How To Spot It
Abuse can be sexual, mental, physical or even financial or it can be as simple as being neglected or abandoned. It comes in many forms and can be a one-time occurrence or an ongoing situation so it’s important to know what to look for.
If you suspect that your loved one is being abused, there are a few warning signs to watch for. Your relative could suddenly become withdrawn or frightened of being left alone with the caregiver. Or they could suddenly recoil when you try to touch them. You might also notice bruises and bedsores or even money that’s suddenly missing from their bank account.
Chances are good that if you suspect something is amiss, that it is. Keep your eyes open to protect your relative.
What To Do With A Hired Caregiver?
If it’s a hired caregiver who is abusing your elderly relative, your solution is simple — just fire them. If possible, try to let them go immediately without giving them a two-week notice. This notice period could give the caregiver ample opportunity to further harm your relative. If you hired this person from an agency, make sure that you factually tell them why you’re letting the employee go. They need to know about any potential problems so that they can protect their other clients.
Get An Elder Law Attorney Involved If The Abuser Is A Family Member
Sometimes, the abuser turns out to be a family member. While this is a sad situation, it’s actually quite common. The stress of caring for a loved one full time can sometimes lead to neglect and abuse. While this is no excuse, the situation does need to be taken care of immediately.
An elder law attorney will be able to help you file for emergency assistance. You will likely need to go to court to file for emergency protection or even file a restraining order to keep the caregiver away from your loved one. This can create a lot of family stress, but the best thing to do is simply speak the truth about the warning signs you’ve noticed. If you’re factual and not over-emotional, the judge will be able to see the truth, giving your loved one the protection that they need.
If you suspect that a loved one is being abused by caregivers, keep an eye out for these signs. Additionally, don’t hesitate to contact attorneys who specialize in elder law for help if necessary.