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Elder Abuse

A Cook County Elder Abuse Lawyer Fights for Your Loved One

U.S. authorities receive more than half a million reports of abuse against elderly Americans each year, and it is likely that millions of additional cases go unreported, according to HelpGuide.org. Elder abuse can be a criminal act, as well as being considered negligence in a civil lawsuit. If your elderly loved one has suffered harm because of another’s negligence, you should consider having your case reviewed by a Cook County elder abuse lawyer at Buttafuoco & Associates at no cost.

Defining Elder Abuse

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention define elder abuse as “any abuse and neglect of persons age 60 and older by a caregiver or another person in a relationship involving an expectation of trust.” There are multiple kinds of abuse, including the following:

  • Physical – Physical abuse occurs when a caregiver assaults or physically harms an elder. In many cases, this entails scratching, inappropriately restraining, pushing, slapping, hitting and threatening with a weapon.
  • Sexual – Any unwanted sexual contact with the elder, including contact when the victim is not able to understand what is happening, is considered sexual abuse.
  • Emotional/Psychological – Non-physical acts that harm or traumatize the elder can be considered emotional or psychological abuse. This can include humiliation, threats, coercion, exercising undue control such as prohibiting access to money and isolation.
  • Neglect – Neglect occurs when the caregiver does not provide the adequate care the elder needs. Failure to provide basic care such as food, shelter, hygiene and access to health care are all included.

The abuse descriptions are just a handful examples; there are other kinds of abuse, as well, such as abandonment and financial exploitation. For more information on elder abuse or for a list of support organizations, you can contact our firm or visit the National Center on Elder Abuse Administration on Aging’s (AoA’s) website.

Signs of Elder Abuse/Neglect

Any of these following signs can indicate that an elderly person is being abused, neglected or mistreated.

  • Bruises, pressure marks or lacerations without any explanation
  • Reduced alertness
  • Apprehensive and fearful of communicating
  • Withdrawal and disinterest in activities
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Bedsores and obvious signs of poor hygiene
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Belittling comments or threats that the caregiver makes to the elder
  • Signs of strained relationships between the caregiver and elder

The AoA recommends for loved ones: “Be alert. The suffering is often in silence. If you notice changes in a senior’s personality or behavior, you should start to question what is going on.”

Think your loved one has been abused? We can help.

If your loved one has suffered harm or has died as a result of abuse or neglect, or if you suspect that something is amiss, it’s important to alert authorities immediately. Contact law enforcement, management at the care facility, Adult Protective Services, the Department of Social Services or the Long-Term Care Ombudsman program.

You will also want to contact an attorney because you may be able to file an injury or wrongful death claim to hold the wrongdoer financially responsible for the harm they’ve caused. Negligence – be it from poor training, poor staffing, breaching statutory rights or other forms of abuse or neglect – warrants justice and recompense.

Our compassionate, extensively trained Cook County elder abuse lawyers are here to help. Contact Buttafuoco & Associates today at 1-800-NOW-HURT for a free consultation.