Elder abuse is abhorrent and tragically common throughout the United States. The abuse of elderly adults can happen in an in-home setting, in a nursing home, or in another type of medical facility. It is crucial that loved ones understand the different types of elder abuse that can occur as well as when they should contact an elder abuse lawyer for help.

Types of Abuse

1.      Physical abuse

Physical abuse of an elderly person is defined as the use of any physical force that may result in bodily injury, physical pain, or impairment of the elderly person. This can include actions such as:

  • Striking a person with an object
  • Punching
  • Shoving
  • Pushing
  • Shaking
  • Slapping
  • Kicking
  • Burning
  • Pinching

Additionally, physical abuse can also include the inappropriate use of drugs or physical restraints, physical punishments, or force-feeding.

2.      Sexual abuse

Sexual abuse of the elderly is defined as any non-consensual sexual contact with an elderly adult or sexual contact involving a cognitively or physically impaired elderly person. Sexual abuse can include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Unwanted touching
  • Sexual assault or battery
  • Rape
  • Sodomy
  • Oral copulation
  • Coerced nudity
  • Sexually explicit photographing

3.      Emotional and psychological abuse

Emotional and psychological abuse is defined as the intentional infliction of distress, pain, or anguish on an elderly person through verbal or non-verbal actions. This can include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Verbal insults
  • Verbal assaults
  • Threats
  • Intimidation
  • Harassment
  • Humiliation

This type of abuse can also include isolating an elderly person from their friends, family members, or regular activities.

4.      Neglect

Neglect involves the refusal or failure of a caregiver to provide the basic necessities to an elderly person. This can include the failure to provide a person with:

  • Food
  • Water
  • Clothing
  • Personal hygiene
  • Shelter
  • Personal safety
  • Medical care
  • Medications
  • Comfort
  • Other essential items

5.      Abandonment

Abandonment refers to the desertion of an elderly person by a caregiver or any other person who has assumed control for responsibility over the elderly adult. Abandonment can occur in various ways, including leaving an elderly person at the hospital, nursing home, or another institution. This can also include abandoning an elderly person in a public location.

6.      Financial or material exploitation

Financial and material exploitation is defined as the improper or illegal use of an older adult’s money, property, or assets. This can include a range of activities, such as:

  • Cashing a person’s checks without authorization
  • Forging a person’s signature
  • Stealing or misusing money or possessions
  • Coercing an elderly person into signing contracts or a will
  • Improper use of a guardianship, conservatorships, or power of attorney

7.      Self-neglect

Self-neglect refers to the behavior of another person that threatens their own well being. Self-neglect will often manifest itself in various ways, including an older person’s refusal to provide themselves with adequate food, clothing, water, medical care, or shelter.

When to Contact an Elder Abuse Lawyer

If you suspect that your elderly loved one has been the victim of abuse, you need to seek legal assistance as soon as possible. At Tiano O’Dell, our qualified team has vast experience handling these cases, and we will work tirelessly to ensure that your loved one secures justice, closure, and compensation for what happened. We understand how complicated these cases can be, but we will use our resources to investigate the incident and prove liability. When you need a West Virginia elder abuse attorney, contact Tiano O’Dell, PLLC.