Frequently Asked Questions About Elder Abuse

Experienced insight from proven elder abuse lawyers

Garcia & Artigliere is dedicated to the fight against elder abuse and neglect at nursing homes and assisted living facilities, and by in-home caregivers. One of the ways we help is by providing accurate information to those in need. In addition to offering a free initial consultation and review of your case, we have a good deal of information on this website that can help you understand more about elder abuse, its signs, and your rights. Feel free to review the following frequently asked questions, or call our offices at (866) 489-8797 to arrange your consultation.

What is elder abuse?

Elder abuse is as a violation of human rights and a significant cause of illness, injury, loss of productivity, isolation, and despair. According to the United States Census Bureau, “the U.S. population age 65 and over grew nearly five times faster than the total population over the 100 years from 1920 to 2020, according to the 2020 Census. The older population reached 55.8 million or 16.8% of the population of the United States in 2020.”

This growing number is due to our success in medical and technological advances, but it is just as important to ensure quality of life for those who have had the tenacity to live a long life. Due to this increase, more disabled and vulnerable elders may place additional physical and emotional strain on both institutional and non-institutional caregivers. Many people who are entrusted to care for elders can become stressed, depressed, or overwhelmed, which can lead to mistreatment and abuse of the elderly person in their trusted care.

Many elders become frail and are unable to stand up to bullying or fight back. They may be confused or forgetful, making them easy targets for abuse, neglect, or extortion. Most cases of reported abuse in elder abuse law happen in the elderly person’s own home or in a relative’s home. The abuser can be a friend, relative, or even a spouse who is overwhelmed and does not take the time to get additional support or help because they feel like they can manage the situation. An elderly person who develops Alzheimer’s disease or dementia may be especially difficult to handle because of the nature of this illness. Many caregivers fail to use the resources available to them, resulting in negligence or abuse of the elder person they are entrusted to care for.

What are the warning sings of Elder Abuse or Senior Abuse?

There are different signs that may indicate elder abuse or neglect:

  • Elderly person appears to have a change in personality or behavior. They may seem more irritable, withdrawn, scared, or confused.
  • Frequent arguments or tension between the caregiver and the elderly person, where both parties may be more stressed and confrontational.
  • Caregiver’s refusal to allow others to visit the elderly person.
  • Any unusual physical marks on the elderly person, such as abrasions, scratches, and bruises.
  • Social isolation if the caretaker and the elderly person are alone together most of the time.
  • An elderly person who has a disability, Alzheimer’s disease, or dementia may be at more of a risk for abuse due to the complexity of their condition.
  • An elderly person who has a history of domestic violence in the past may be at more risk of being a victim of abuse.

How can I help prevent elder abuse and neglect?

It is up to all of us to protect and safeguard the elderly from potential senior abuse and neglect. We can do this by listening, observing, and questioning elders when we see drastic changes in their behavior and personality. We can intervene on the elder’s behalf if we suspect they may be a victim of fraud, neglect, or abuse. We can educate ourselves, the elderly person, and others about how to recognize signs of abuse/neglect and how to report a potentially harmful situation before it gets any worse. We must keep in mind that the elder may feel helpless against their perpetrator, especially if the abuser is a friend or family member, or in a position of power, such as in a nursing home.