Despite how wrong it is, elder abuse is still a common problem. Nearly 5 million seniors experience different forms of elder abuse each year and what’s more heartbreaking is the figure is likely higher due to under-reporting.
Abuse can occur in many forms, including psychological, financial, sexual, neglect, and so on. The perpetrators of these acts are usually people close to the victim, such as family members or caregivers. Nursing home abuse is also prevalent, and the responsible parties can be staff members or even fellow residents.
The effects of elder abuse are debilitating both to the victim and their loved ones. When this happens, it’s possible to seek justice through financial remedies.
What Are the Effects of Elder Abuse?
Any form of abuse in the hands of a trusted person, or those tasked with our care, can result in a lot of psychological distress. The emotional scar is even worse if the perpetrator is a close family member.
Reports show elderly persons who have suffered abuse are more likely to develop mental disorders such as depression, PTSD (post-traumatic disorder), and anxiety.
Worsening of Existing Conditions
Most seniors live with one or more health conditions due to the body’s natural decline with age. Elder abuse can exacerbate these problems to a point where they become hard to manage. New illnesses can also arise due to the abuse and take a toll on the victim.
For instance, physical abuse can cause permanent disabilities to elderly persons with back problems, while sexual abuse will worsen existing mental health problems.
Financial abuse is among the most common forms of elder abuse. The Association of Healthcare Journalists reports a majority of perpetrators are close family members, which makes it difficult to control or stop.
Unfortunately, financial abuse has led a significant number of seniors to abject poverty characterized by loss of financial assets, properties, and even their homes. If your loved one has experienced financial abuse, you can work with an elder abuse lawyer to pursue compensation for the amount lost and more.
Elder abuse can cause the victim to isolate themselves, especially if it’s sexual and psychological. In fact, social isolation is one sign to watch out for elder abuse.
The shame, guilt, and loss of dignity felt by an abused senior can cause them to isolate themselves from their loved ones, making it difficult for someone to intervene. Social isolation is linked with lack of sleep, depression, feelings of loneliness, and suicidal thoughts.
Hospitalization and Premature Death
Older adults already face declining health, being subjected to abuse can cause increased visits to the emergency room and premature fatality.
This results in unforeseen medical bills that can add up to thousands of dollars and eventually, wrongful death.
How to Get Justice after Elder Abuse
Elder abuse is unacceptable. If your loved one has experienced abuse, it’s paramount to seek justice for them. Not only does this punish the abuser and prevent them from harming anyone else, but it can also result in a compensation package that’ll make it easier for your family to recover.
To begin the civil process, you’ll have to decide whether to resolve the elder abuse claim through mediation or litigation.
Mediation for an elder abuse claim allows the involved parties to reach a mutual agreement and saves the victim from rigorous court sessions. On the other hand, litigation can give the survivor a sense of justice they deserve to move on and punish the abuser at the same time.
Whichever way you choose, ensure it meets your needs and that you are pursuing maximum compensation for your loved one.