Neglect: An Introduction to Elder Law and How it Can Help You

In 2009, the Obama Administration started the Affordable Care Act. Within the Affordable Care Act is the Elder Justice Act. This act was to combat widespread nurse neglect and abuse of elders in America.

Over two million cases of elder abuse (Elder abuse occurs when there is any form of neglect or abuse on an individual over the years of 60) get reported annually, and it is estimated that as many as 10% of the elderly will experience some form of nurse neglect. 

If you are worried about a loved one, maybe even suspect elder abuse, find out everything you need to know about elder law right here.

How Does Elder Law Define Neglect?

There are many different forms of nurse neglect or even neglect in general of an elder. Physical abuse or mental distress is a severe form of nurse neglect.

Some elders in nursing homes are even subjected to sexual abuse and exploitation.

However, there are quieter forms of neglect that lead to immense emotional duress for the elder.

Exploitation of finances occurs against the elders frequently. It can happen by nurses and caregivers in private settings, or even in a hospital or care facility.

Unfortunately, many elders today are too ashamed to report elder neglect. Actor Mickey Rooney testified for the United States Senate Special Committee on Aging in 2011.

He did this after years of having his finances abused by family members. In 2011 he went on Capitol Hill, imploring Congress to make elder neglect a crime.

Today, the law provides for remedies and compensation to those experiencing elder neglect.

What are the Symptoms of Elder Neglect?

Elder law defines neglect as any means in which an elder’s rights to access services and needs are compromised. This neglect can happen at any time and in any way.

If an elder has finances that are draining, their ability to access funds for basic needs are compromised.

Family members or nurses may manipulate an elder patient into changing their estate and legacy plans. Their motive would be to have legacy plans changed to favor the abuser financially.

This is one potential symptom of elder neglect. If you are worried this could happen to someone you love, contact an estate planning lawyer to have airtight provisions in place for your loved one.

Elder neglect can also come in the form of actual physical abuse, or even withholding medications from the elder. Withholding food and basic hygiene needs can also be considered a form of elder neglect.

Elder neglect strips the individual of basic civil liberties.  It will ultimately impact their overall quality of life. It could also lead to further health problems, such as infection due to poor hygiene, or depression or anxiety.

Any elder experiencing mental health distress, or who are suffering from poor hygiene may be showing symptoms as a victim of elder neglect. Elders that are showing bruising without cause can also be showing signs.

Consult an Expert

There are millions of elders impacted by nurse neglect and abuse every year.  These cases of neglect include physical, financial, and verbal abuse.

Neglect on its own is defined by a failure to meet an elder’s basic life needs, from food to hygiene and even housing. However, neglect can also take the form of financial abuse, with as many as 5.2% of the elderly reporting financial abuse from a family member. Nurses and caregivers can also exploit finances, and this strips an elder of their rights to access basic needs.

If you are worried about an elder in your life, get legal help on elder law immediately. Contact Indigo Family Law today to determine if you have a claim of nurse neglect or abuse.

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