ENSURING PROTECTIONS FROM
ELDER ABUSE & EXPLOITATION
IS YOUR LOVED ONE BEING HURT?
Thousands of cases of elder abuse are reported in Wisconsin every year, and the problem continues to grow. Unfortunately, the shocking mistreatment of seniors is often perpetrated by loved ones, such as spouses, adult children, and other family members.
At Gage-Michaels Law, we work with clients to help preserve important family relationships whenever possible. When those relationships become too harmful, however, we can help empower abuse victims to protect themselves with restraining orders, domestic abuse injunctions, and individual at-risk injunctions. When contact with an abuser ceases, healing can begin.
If you or a loved one is concerned about elder abuse happening in your family, give us a call. Our team will meet with you to determine whether one of these important legal tools are right for you.
RECOGNIZING SIGNS OF ELDER ABUSE
The CDC estimates that 1 out of every 10 people aged 60 and older who live at home have experienced elder abuse. That number may be much higher, since elder abuse often goes unreported. Adult children are most likely to be the abusers, followed by other relatives. While seniors can fall victim to strangers in situations like work-at-home scams, elders are much more likely to suffer at the hands of someone they know and love.
Signs that an older person is the victim of acts of violence may include:
Bruises, black eyes, welts, lacerations, rope marks, cuts, punctures, or untreated injuries in various stages of healing.
Broken bones, including the skull.
Sprains, dislocations, or internal injuries.
Broken eyeglasses or dentures.
Signs of being restrained.
Laboratory reports of overdose or underuse of medicines.
Reports from the older adult of being physically mistreated.
An older person's sudden change in behavior.
A caregiver's refusal to allow visitors to see an older person alone.
Symptoms of possible sexual abuse include bruises around the breasts or genital area, unexplained venereal disease or genital infections.
Emotional or psychological abuse is possible if the older person appears emotionally upset or agitated; acts withdrawn or is noncommunicative, nonresponsive, or paranoid; exhibits unusual behavior including sucking, biting, and rocking; or if he or she reports being verbally or emotionally mistreated.
Signs of neglect may include dehydration, malnutrition, untreated health problems, pressure injuries, poor personal hygiene, hazardous or unsanitary living conditions, and reports from the older person of being mistreated.
Abandonment includes the desertion of an older person at a hospital, nursing facility, shopping center, or other public location.
Signs of financial exploitation include sudden changes in a bank account or banking practice, such as unexplained withdrawals of large amounts of money; additional names on an older person's bank card; abrupt changes in a will or other financial document; disappearance of funds or valuable possessions; unpaid bills or substandard care despite the availability of funds; evidence of the older person's signature being forged; the sudden appearance of previously uninvolved relatives; payment for unnecessary services; and reports from the older person of financial exploitation.
Questions about Elder Abuse?
What are the most common types of elder abuse?
An “elder abuse victim” is a person age 60+ who has experienced or is currently experiencing physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, financial exploitation, treatment without consent, or unreasonable confinement or restraint. Wis. Stat. §46.90.
What should I do if I suspect senior abuse?
How can an Elder Law attorney help me in the case of senior abuse?
Who can sue for elder abuse?
If you are 60 and over and have experienced physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, financial exploitation, treatment without consent, or unreasonable confinement or restraint, you should schedule a consultation.