Understanding the Different Types of Elder Abuse
Elder abuse is a problem throughout the country. To protect vulnerable seniors, it’s essential to understand the different types of elder abuse. Here’s what you need to know about the types of elder abuse from our nursing home abuse attorneys.
What Are the Types of Elder Abuse?
There are more than 11,000 cases of elder abuse in the State of Colorado each year.
The types of elder abuse are:
- Willful deprivation
Different Types of Elder Abuse in Colorado
- Physical abuse – Physical elder abuse may include assault and battery or other actions like confinement. Signs of physical abuse may include bruising or broken bones as well as emotional changes like fear of caregivers, anger, or emotional isolation.
- Emotional abuse – Emotional abuse is often subtle. It can happen quickly or for an extended period of time. Emotional abuse can be insults and put-downs. It can be making comments that are intended to instill fear and anxiety. Humiliation and ridicule are two other types of emotional abuse. If your loved one seems withdrawn or if you notice personality changes, they may be the victim of emotional abuse.
- Financial abuse – Seniors do not always understand the management of their finances. Even when they do understand their finances, there may be people waiting to take advantage of them. Professional guardians may be financial abusers, but family members may also be waiting to take advantage of a vulnerable senior. Sometimes, abusers commit financial abuse while acting under the guise of a loving caregiver. Financial abuse is a common type of elder abuse.
- Sexual abuse – Sexual abuse of seniors can take many forms. Even not giving a senior appropriate privacy is a form of sexual abuse. Victims may be unwilling to talk about sexual abuse, and they may not even recognize it. Sexual abuse is one form of elder abuse.
- Neglect – Too often, vulnerable seniors get inadequate care. When caregivers fail to provide seniors with necessities like food, personal care, and medical attention, seniors may become victims of elder neglect. Even things like failing to provide mobility aids for freedom of movement or allowing socialization with family and friends can constitute elder neglect.
- Isolation – Spending time with family and friends is a fundamental human right. Seniors who live independently, and seniors who live in care facilities may find themselves isolated. Isolation can cause loneliness and even a lack of interest in daily activities. It can lead to a decline in physical health as well as emotional health.
- Willful deprivation – Seniors have the right to their daily care needs met including food, hygiene, medical care, freedom of movement, and socialization. When someone deprives a senior of the things that they need, the willful deprivation can be a form of abuse.
- Discrimination – Just like all members of society, seniors have the right to be free of discrimination based on protected classes. In Colorado, protected classes include gender, age, race, marital status, and health history. A senior that is the victim of discrimination may have rights under both U.S. and Colorado state laws.
- Self-neglect – It’s important for seniors to take care of themselves. Things like living in a home with dangers like poor electrical wiring or in a home that lacks heat and water can be self-neglect. Seniors who care for themselves may not take proper care of their nutrition, medical needs, and personal hygiene needs. Self-neglect can be a form of elder neglect.
Can You Go to Jail for Elder Abuse in Colorado?
Yes, you can go to jail or elder abuse in Colorado. Colorado law has enhanced penalties for crimes committed against vulnerable adults, including seniors ages 70 and older. Crimes like assault, theft, and caregiver abuse all apply to senior victims with enhanced penalties.
How to Report Elder Abuse in Colorado
To report elder abuse in Colorado, you may do the following:
- Make a police report – Senior abuse is often a crime. If your loved one is the victim of abuse, the person or people responsible may face criminal charges. Criminal charges begin when someone files a police report. The police may conduct an investigation. You start by bringing a complaint to your local police.
- Report to Adult Protective Services – Colorado has an adult protective services department. The department is devoted to investigating suspected abuse and taking the appropriate steps to protect vulnerable adults. To make a report to adult protective services, you contact your local department of health and human services.
- File a complaint with a care providing facility – If your loved one lives in a care home or even if they receive care from third-party caregivers, you may make a report to the care provider. They should have an internal process to investigate the allegations and protect your loved one. Be sure to follow up with the care facility to learn the outcome of the investigation and what steps the care provider has taken to protect all seniors from abuse.
- Bring a civil claim – When your loved one is the victim of abuse, they may bring a civil claim for financial compensation. Even though monetary compensation isn’t enough after your loved one is the victim of abuse, it is still a way to hold an offender accountable for their actions and help provide for your loved one’s needs. An experienced attorney can help you bring your claim and work quickly to get the justice your loved one deserves.
Contact Our Denver Attorneys for Elder Abuse
Are you concerned about the safety and well-being of your loved one? Do you suspect that your loved one may be the victim of elder abuse? You have rights.
The Bachus & Schanker, LLC, legal team is devoted to helping victims of elder abuse. We can help you recognize the warning signs, investigate, and take action. You don’t have to fight alone. Our trained and experienced legal team is willing to do whatever it takes to ensure that you and your loved one receive justice.
Consultations with our Denver attorneys for elder abuse are always free. Let us help you understand your rights and your options. Our team is prepared to do whatever it takes to protect your loved one and fight for justice. Call us today.
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