According to research, the fastest growing population in America is the elderly. Did you know that experts predict that by year 2050, people 65 and older will comprise 20 percent of the population in the US? There will also be about 19 million people age 85 or older. In 2010, there were only 5.8 million people in that age bracket.
This increase in the elderly population could mean that the number of elder abuse victims will also be on the rise. Elder abuse is defined as an intentional act that harms or creates the risk of harm to a vulnerable elderly person by a caregiver. While many may think elder abuse only involves physical violence, it can also include neglect, theft or any other action that causes harm to the elderly individual.
Elder abuse is a silent problem in the US. This is because elder abuse is often not reported. In some cases, the only contact the elderly person has is with the abuser. In other cases, an entire facility could fail in providing proper care to patients. Sometimes, the victim is unable to tell their family members about the abuse because of physical impairments. There are many reasons why elder abuse does not get reported. However, it is important to know that it does happen and there is something you can do to help stop it.
Common Signs of Elder Abuse
Research shows that many professionals and family members fail to detect the signs of elder abuse. Statistics show that 90 percent of victims fail to report the abuse because they do not want to get the caregiver in trouble. That is why it is important to understand and recognize the signs of elder abuse, including:
- Unexplained injuries including bruising, lacerations or broken bones
- Sudden and unexplained changes in bank account balances
- Obvious signs that daily needs, such as bathing, are not being met
- A change in personality, such as depression or fear
- Unsafe living conditions
If you suspect elder abuse, contact a nursing home abuse lawyer at Bernstein & Maryanoff in Miami today. Unfortunately, elder abuse is a common and growing problem. Our team of attorneys have extensive experience helping the victims of elder abuse find safety and pursue compensation for their damages from the at-fault party. If your loved one has suffered abuse or neglect by his or her caregivers, the team at Bernstein & Maryanoff can help.