Knowing When to Hire an Elder Abuse Attorney
Many elderly citizens rely on their care in nursing homes or from in-home workers as they age. While these facilities and workers are meant to keep your loved ones safe, sometimes they end up harming them.
Vulnerable adults are sometimes subjected to neglect, abuse, or exploitation while under the care of others. If you suspect your loved one is a victim of elder abuse, contact a lawyer immediately.
Lyons & Associates, P.C. helps clients throughout New Jersey protect their loved ones. Our elder abuse attorneys understand the importance of reporting the abuse and holding the abusers responsible. We treat your family with compassion as you navigate this difficult situation.
What Does an Elder Abuse Attorney Do?
Elder abuse is when a person knowingly or intentionally commits an act that causes harm or the serious risk of harm to a vulnerable adult. The victims are typically older, frail adults who rely on others for care. People who commit elder abuse may be healthcare workers, family members, friends, or other trusted individuals involved in your loved one’s care.
Elder abuse attorneys specialize in elder law and can help elderly clients and their families in the following ways:
- Advice, counseling, and advocating for your rights
- Investigating community services for the elderly
- Attend client meetings at their nursing home or care facility
- Review long-term care options for an elderly person and options for funding
- Estate planning
- Assist with acquiring benefits through Medicare or Medicaid
Types of Elder Abuse
Elder abuse comes in many forms. It can include physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, neglect and abandonment, and exploitation.
Physical, Emotion, and Sexual Abuse
Physical abuse occurs when a person injures or causes pain to an elderly patient. This includes physically or medically restraining them, slapping, or causing bruises.
Emotional abuse is any verbal or nonverbal act that causes mental pain or distress, such as threatening or humiliating the elderly person.
Sexual abuse is any non-consensual sexual contact of any kind the caregiver has with the elderly patient.
Neglect and Abandonment
If the person responsible for the care of your loved one deserts them or fails to provide adequate medical care, food, or protection, they are committing abandonment or neglect.
Exploitation occurs when the person responsible for providing care mishandles their patient’s assets. Taking or concealing property, money, or other assets belonging to the elderly patient is illegal.
Warning Signs of Elder Abuse
Signs of physical abuse include bruises, broken bones, and abrasions. Bruises or injuries around the genitals can indicate sexual abuse. A tense relationship between the patient and their caregiver may be a sign of emotional abuse.
Elderly patients with poor hygiene, unexplained weight loss, or unmet medical needs may point to cases of neglect or abandonment. Additionally, if your loved one’s financial situation has rapidly changed, it may be the result of exploitation. While these signs alone don’t mean abuse is occurring, they do indicate problems.
How to Report Elder Abuse in New Jersey
If you see warning signs or know elder abuse is occurring, it’s essential to report the abuse to authorities. States have different requirements for reporting abuse.
In New Jersey, you can report the abuse, neglect, or exploitation of an adult aged 18 or older to your county’s Adult Protection Service Provider (APSP). Within 72 hours of your report, a trained social worker from the APSP will conduct a face-to-face meeting with the victim. The social worker will perform a private interview with the victim and investigates the allegations.
Hire an Elder Abuse Attorney Today
If you suspect abuse of your loved one, hire an attorney. They can help you report the crime and ensure your loved one is moved into a safe environment.
Help protect your loved ones in New Jersey with Lyons & Associates, P.C. Our experienced elder abuse attorneys understand the challenges and emotional distress abuse cases cause. We’ll fight to hold the abusive party accountable for their actions. Contact us today for a confidential consultation regarding your case.