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Elder and Dependent abuse blog | Fresno Criminal Defense Attorney

The following is taken from an informational packet provided by the Tulare County District Attorney's office and reprinted by Criminal Defense Attorney Jonathan Rooker for informational purposes.

Defining, Recognizing and Reporting Elder and Dependent Adult Abuse

TYPES OF ABUSE

Every year an estimated 2.1 million older Americans are victims of elder abuse, neglect or exploitation,. Additionally, experts believe that for every case of elder abuse or neglect reported, as many as five cases go unreported (Department of health and Human Services, Administration on Aging)

Physical Abuse is defined as inflicting or threatening to inflict physical pain or injury on a person 65 years or any any disabled person 18 years or older.  Other examples of abuse can include: Sexual abuse, false imprisonment, abduction, unreasonable physical restraints, inappropriate use of medications, and deprivation of food and water.

LOOK FOR:

*  Injuries inconsistent with victim's history

*  Malnutrition / Dehydration

*  Social/ Physical isolation

FINANCIAL ABUSE:

Victims of financial elder abuse lose an estimated $2.9 billion nationwide very year (MetLife Mature market Institute).

Financial abuse is the illegal taking or misuse of an elder's funds, property or assets such as checks and debit/credit cards, jewelry, cash, vehicle, or real estate.

LOOK FOR:

*  Unusual bank account activity

* Addition of names on bank accounts

*  Sudden changes in proper titles, wills

* Missing personal property

* Unpaid bills

* Loans or gifts to abuser

* Deliberate isolation by caregiver.

NEGLECT/ABANDONMENT

Neglect is the refusal or failure to provide basic care such as food, shelter, health care or protection for an Elder or Disabled Adult by someone who is responsible for their care.  Neglect and abandonment can occur in the home, in nursing homes, in hospitals and in public places like shopping malls or restaurants.

WHERE IT OCCURS:

* Hospitals

* Nursing Homes

* Shopping Malls

*  In the home

When it occurs at the home, look for:

*  Sudden unexpected departure of a caregiver

* No activity in or about the victim's home

*Telephone calls going unanswered

* Mail or newspapers pilling up

* Dirty unkempt appearance

* Filth living conditions

WHO ARE THE ABUSERS

* The vast majority are family members or direct care providers

* Someone who depends on the victim for all or part of their support

* Someone who may suffer firm mental/emotional problems

* Someone who may have drug/alcohol/gambling addictions

* Someone who may have financial difficulties

STATISTICS UNCOVER A FRIGHTENING PICTURE OF ELDER ABUSE IN CALIFORNIA.  ONE OF EVERY 20 ELDERLY PEOPLE WILL BE A VICTIM OF NEGLECT OR PHYSICAL, PSYCHOLOGICAL OR FINANCIAL ABUSE THIS YEAR.  AS THE ELDER POPULATION MULTIPLIES, SO WILL THE INCIDENCE OF ELDER ABUSE . . .  IF WE DON'T TAKE ACTION

STOP THE TRAGEDY

Our mothers, fathers, friends, and relatives are growing older each day and becoming increasingly at risk for elder abuse.  Though some abuse is blatant and obvious, other forms are more subtle or secretive.  Hopefully this information will help you define, recognize, report and stop the tragedy of elder abuse.

Get the Help You Need

Jonathan Rooker can help you, when you need it most. The road to justice may sometimes be a long road, but it is a worth fighting for. Don't try to handle a criminal allegation without first consulting and educated experienced attorney to see if they can help and/or advise you on the best defense.

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