Statistics show that elder abuse is one of the least reported crimes in Georgia. Part of the reason is because it’s often hard to know when abuse is occuring.
Elderly relatives and friends do fall down. They also may have bruises from being helped in and out of the shower or the bath or in and out of bed. Bruises by themselves are not necessarily an indication of abuse. Changes in behavior, however, are.
When an elderly relative complains of abuse, it’s our responsibility as loved ones to take the accusation very seriously.
Elder abuse does not always take place in a nursing home or assisted living facility. It often is happening right under our noses. Family members, caregivers, and even complete strangers may inflict harm on the elderly. The abuse can be physical or emotional. It may involve denying certain medications or services, or it could be financial abuse — stealing money or other belongings from the elderly.
If you suspect that your relative or friend is being abused, you owe it to them and to the people who love them to take action. The Law Offices of David Van Sant work with victims of elder abuse who have been injured while in the care of others.
So how do you tell if someone is being abused? The signs are often difficult to spot, but any change in behavior, statements about abuse, or general fear should be taken seriously. If a caregiver will not allow visitors to meet with the person in their care alone, chances are they are hiding something.
Just as we teach parents to “listen to the children,” we must also “listen to our seniors.” Senior abuse is serious business. It is a crime punishable by law, and elder abuse is a crime that deserves swift action and severe consequences.
If you are concerned that someone you care about is being abused by someone in a position of trust, contact the Law Offices of David Van Sant. Mr. Van Sant is an Atlanta injury attorney who works for victims and their rights. For more information, contact Mr. Van Sant today.