Elder Abuse: What to Look For | Personal Injury
According to the Government of Canada, 1 in 5 Canadians believes they know of a senior who may be experiencing some form of abuse and personal injury. Seniors of all ages, religions, races, cultures and ethnic backgrounds are prone to elder abuse, which occurs more often than people realize.
Abuse can happen to anyone, in any family or relationship. Discovering that a loved one has suffered from a personal injury due to the negligence of a care provider can be a troubling, stressful realization. We understand your frustration and are here to answer any questions you have. An experienced and compassionate Lawyer can provide you with the advice you seek concerning legal action during this unsettling time. Below we have compiled basic information about the different types of elder abuse, and the best course of action moving forward.
Types of Elder Abuse
Elder abuse can take many forms and is not limited to hitting, striking, shaking, or beating. For instance, a caregiver can be found liable if they refuse to serve a patient breakfast simply because they were displeased with their patient. It is also considered abuse when the individual is emotionally or psychologically abused through the use of degradation, threats, or manipulation. Elder abuse can exist as a single injury-inducing event, or as a pattern of bad conduct.
Physical abuse is any type of abuse that causes injury or discomfort (this includes sexual assault). Signs of physical abuse may include but are not limited to:
- Unexplained bruises, cuts, burns, or bites
- Untreated medical issues
- A continuous number of ‘accidents’
- Signs of dehydration
Psychological or emotional abuse involves a caretaker who systematically and maliciously manipulates a patient causing emotional anguish, fear, and or dignity. Signs of psychological abuse may include:
- Depression, fear, anxiety, withdrawal
- Unwillingness to open up and discuss the issue
- Fear of interacting with the caregiver
- The caregiver speaks for the victim and takes control of conversations and the victim’s life (invading privacy).
The caregiver fails to provide the basic essential personal care needs of the person.
Examples include water, food, medication, clothing, mobility aids, hygiene, social contact eyeglasses, neglect, and exercise.”
- The deliberate failure of the caregiver to fulfil their caregiving responsibilities.
- The unintentional failure of the caregiver to fulfil their caregiving responsibilities.
Signs of neglect may include:
- Unkempt appearance, dirty clothing, and or signs of irregular bathing.
- Unhealthy, dangerous, or chaotic living conditions.
- Signs of bedsores, skin issues, bruises, wounds, or any other medical issue.
Financial abuse is the exploitation or theft of someone’s money, assets, or property. It can also include fraud, forgery, abuse of Power of Attorney, or access to the person’s bank account. Signs of financial abuse may include:
- Forgeries on legal documents or cheques
- Large bank withdrawals or transfers between accounts
- Unusual activity in bank accounts
- Unpaid bills or cancellation/eviction notices
- Missing belongings and or property
Institutional abuse involves the neglect and poor care practice within an institution or any other specific care setting such as in a hospital, care home, or residence. Signs of institutional abuse may include:
- Financial abuse
- Inappropriate use of power or control
- Lack of possessions
- No social contact
- Poor hygiene or lack of
- Unhealthy and or dangerous living conditions
- Physical or verbal abuse
- No flexibility in schedule/lack of choice
- Lack of medical attention
Responding to Abuse and Neglect
If you suspect an elderly individual is in immediate danger, the best course of action is to contact the police by calling 911.
Compensation for Injuries
If you or a loved one has suffered from a personal injury at the hands of a caretaker in Metro-Vancouver, or to find out if you have grounds to sue an elderly provider, it is best to contact an experienced, compassionate personal injury lawyer who will advise you on the steps necessary to take action. At Tim Louis Law, we understand what an overwhelming time this can be and will fight on your behalf to ensure that you receive
the compensation you deserve for your injuries. For a free, no-obligation consultation, contact us by calling 604-732-7678 or email us at email@example.com.