“Elder Abuse” is generally defined as an intentional act, or failure to act, by a caregiver or another person in a relationship with an expectation of trust that causes a risk of harm to the elderly adult. The incidents of elder abuse are becoming more common and with our elderly living longer and their population growing, it is expected to continue to be a problem that escalates. According to the National Council on Aging, the elderly who are physically mistreated are 300% higher risk of death and financial elder abuse costs older Americans 2.9 billion dollars per year in lost assets. https://www.ncoa.org/public-policy-action/elder-justice/elder-abuse-facts/ .
While Alabama has statutes that make certain acts of elder abuse a crime, often times there aren’t the proper resources to prosecute the abuser. And even if you have the proper means or person to bring a civil action against the alleged abuser, often times the assets are wasted and uncollectable. So, while it sounds silly, the best way to prevent elder abuse is not through punishment, but through – prevention.
Martinson and Beason has years of experience in assisting our clients in both preventing elder abuse, but also in attempting to collect stolen or lost assets. Here are some basic prevention strategies:
The above indicators are clearly just the tip of the iceberg, but it is important that if you have a loved one who is elderly and who you suspect may be the victim of abuse, that you have options. Those options include contacting the Department of Human Resources, contacting law enforcement, or contacting a lawyer to assist you and perhaps investigate.
If you find yourself needing help navigating these sorts of complex situations, call our experienced attorneys today to see how we can help you.