Elder abuse is a growing concern in the country. This is because it can take on many forms, including sexual, physical, and financial abuse. It is also not easily detectable.
In an article published by the New England Journal of Medicine, elder abuse affects at least 10 percent of America’s seniors. This number, however, is based only on reported cases. Most cases often go unreported. This can be because elderly victims suffer from conditions such as dementia or because those perpetrating the crimes keep their victims isolated and unable to report the crime.
Elder abuse is not limited to those living in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. It can also happen to those living among family members. If left unreported and unchecked, elder abuse can exacerbate existing medical issues and cause long-term harm, sometimes resulting in death. It also increases the chances of hospital admittance and emergency room visits.
Depending on the type of abuse, the involvement of a primary care physician and housing authorities are key factors. If financial abuse is involved, the bank becomes another resource in the fight against this kind of elder abuse. However, getting all of these people and agencies to work together is a challenge. Having a doctor that is familiar with the agencies and places to turn towards for assistance is key in treating cases of elder abuse.
Often, after treatment in a hospital, there is a disconnect in the next step where the next facility is unaware of the abuse and treatment is not continued. Prolonged abuse can result in the utilization of expensive care they would not otherwise require.
If you think that a loved one is suffering from elder abuse, contact the offices of Schenk Smith. Our attorneys specialize in this kind of litigation. Contact us today.