At Chayet & Danzo, LLC, our attorneys are dedicated to quality of life, safety and dignity for our respected and beloved elders. As part of our practice, we represent family members, caregivers, guardians, conservators and others who are responsible for and dedicated to seniors. At times, people in these roles are concerned about whether the elderly people in their lives are safe or could be subject to abuse or neglect.
We also represent seniors and people with disabilities who have been the victims of a range of abuse, neglect and exploitation.
Our lawyers provide information to our caregiver clients about the signs of physical or emotional abuse, medical or personal neglect and financial manipulation.
Types and signs of elder abuse
As a guide to elder abuse provided by Boulder County explains, older Coloradans are more subject to abuse “because of social isolation and mental impairment.” It can happen anywhere, and anyone in any role in the person’s life or a stranger can be the perpetrator.
This source defines elder abuse as “intentional or unintentional hurting, either physical or emotional, of a person who is age 60 or older.” Mistreatment can include financial and health care abuse. Below are details of various types of elder abuse:
- Physical abuse: Includes force causing injury or pain, the threat of physical harm, wrongful administration of drugs or unlawful restraint
- Emotional abuse or neglect: Can result from verbal or mental abuse, including isolation, harassment, threats, intimidation, punishment, yelling, failure to provide help with activities or contacting loved ones and friends, and more
- Neglect: Can include confinement, failure to provide necessary medical care, abandonment and isolation, insufficient supervision, failure to provide appropriate food, water and hygiene, and more
- Sexual abuse
- Financial abuse: Includes outright theft, identity theft, scamming, forgery of the senior’s signature and the use of threats or manipulation to gain access to financial resources
Be alert to unexplained physical injuries, sudden changes in behavior, agitation, withdrawal, inadequate hygiene, unexplained weight loss, missing or broken medical equipment and similar signs. Beware of a caregiver who does not allow access to the vulnerable adult or will not let you be alone with them. Listen to your loved one if they can communicate their experiences or concerns. Watch for missing money or possessions, unpaid bills or unusual purchases. Be suspicious of sudden, intense involvement with your loved one by a caregiver, staff member, neighbor or acquaintance.
If you face abuse or neglect of a loved one, call emergency services for an acute medical concern or severe psychological distress. Contact law enforcement for immediate support or to report the incident, if appropriate. If you suspect but are not certain, you can report the matter to your county adult protective services for investigation. An attorney can advise you of your options for legal remedies and assist with securing your loved one’s safety and seeing that the matter is appropriately investigated.