When your elderly mother or father is no longer able to maintain a good quality of life without assistance, often the next step is to call in professional caregivers. One of the most difficult parts of this transition, say elder law attorneys in New Jersey, is finding a caregiver that you can trust.
Is elder abuse a significant problem?
Seniors are at very real risk of becoming victims of emotional, financial, physical and sexual abuse as well as neglect and unreasonable confinement. The National Council on Aging’s research has shown that one in ten Americans over the age of 60 have experienced some form of abuse, with over 5 million elderly people becoming victims. Reporting for these cases is low, with estimates being placed at only one in 14 cases ever being brought to the authorities.
While most cases of reported abuse points the finger at family members being the perpetrators, there are enough cases of caregiver abuse to make protecting your loved one’s rights while in care a priority.
Signs of abuse
For many family members, their contact with their loved one while they are in care is limited to visits and outings. Common signs of abuse that should be watched for include:
- Unexplained and frequent bruises, pressure marks from being gripped too tightly, broken bones and burns
- A sudden withdrawal from previously enjoyable activities, unusual depression and strain, frequent arguments with staff or caregivers
- Unexplained appearance of bedsores, poor hygiene, weight loss and lack of medical treatment
- An unexplained change in financial habits
What should I do if I suspect elder abuse?
If you suspect that your loved one is being abused it is vital that you report it to the authorities immediately. They will be able to assist you by opening a criminal case, gathering evidence and protecting your loved one.
How can an elder law attorney assist you?
An elder law attorney will be able to assist you and your loved one with the financial and legal planning that will maximize your ability to access the best possible assisted living, long-term care or nursing home facility. With the right legal advice and planning, you will be able to protect your loved one’s assets from different types of financial fraud, ensure that they receive the benefits and Medicaid care they are entitled to and fully manage all aspects of their estate planning, from their Last Will and Testament to healthcare proxies and financial Power of Attorney.
At Sedita, Campisano & Campisano, LLC, we have over 30 years of experience in New Jersey elder law.With our expertise and compassion, we can help your loved one grow older with dignity, in comfort and with proper peace of mind. For a free consultation, please contact us today.