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Different Types of Elder Abuse

When people think about abuse, physical abuse is the main form that comes to mind. While it is certainly a prevalent form of abuse among the elderly, there are other types of elder abuse that often go unreported. Unfortunately, older people are considered easy targets by some people, and that is why knowledge is the first step in helping prevent abuse against the elderly. If you or someone in your family has been a victim of elder abuse, you need an experienced Maryland personal injury attorney to protect your rights.

Types of Elder Abuse

The most common types of elder abuse fall under one of six categories:

  • Physical Abuse: This is the use of force against an individual to cause pain or harm. This can include acts like hitting, shoving, kicking, pushing, shaking, slapping, burning, pinching, and more. Other physical contact like restraints, confinement, or inappropriate administration of drugs can count as well.
  • Sexual Abuse: This is any non-consensual sexual contact of any type with an individual, including with someone who cannot consent to the contact. There are many cases in which the elderly person does not have the mental capacity to consent in the first place. Sexual abuse can extend beyond physical contact, as well, by forcing the person to watch a sexual act or look at pornographic materials.
  • Emotional Abuse: This is the use of verbal assaults, harassment, or threats to cause emotional trauma to an elderly person. These are meant to humiliate and intimate the victim. Emotional abuse can be when someone yells or curses at the individual, but it can also be when the elderly person is isolated and kept from others.
  • Financial Abuse: This is the act of using or wrongfully taking a person’s money or property through illegal methods like theft, fraud, or scam. Financial abuse can also extend to predatory lending practices. It is not uncommon to see people committing financial abuse by charging items to an elderly person’s credit card, forging their signature, trying to coerce them into changing their will, or even stealing the person’s identity.
  • Neglect: While not abuse technically, it can turn into abuse if an individual does not meet the required needs of an elderly person under their care. Withholding essentials like food, water, clothing, and shelter are common manifestations of neglect. Unsanitary living conditions or unhygienic appearance can be major red flags of neglect.
  • Healthcare Abuse: This type of fraud typically happens with healthcare providers who push through claims that are fraudulent. Maybe they receive kickbacks for patient referrals or they double bill to get additional money.

Recognizing Signs of Elder Fraud

Some signs of abuse are easy to spot while others are far more difficult and take a careful eye. It is important to look through financial records and monitor the patient’s healthcare records and billings. Talk to the person’s doctors and make sure you communicate regularly with the elderly person if he or she is coherent and can share details of his or her daily life.

If you suspect someone you love may have been abused, it is important to contact the Law Office of Robert R. Castro immediately to schedule a consultation.

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