Elder Abuse Lawyer in Burlington



Burlington Criminal Lawyers

Preventing Elder Abuse

What is Elder Abuse?

Elder abuse is an intentional act or failure to act that causes or creates a risk of harm to an older adult. An older adult is someone age 60 or older. The abuse often occurs at the hands of a caregiver or a person the elder trusts. Elder abuse is recognized as a continually increasing and serious problem in our society. Unfortunately, due to under-reporting, variations in the definition of elder abuse, and the absence of a nationwide uniform reporting system, it is difficult to determine the scope of this issue.

Types of Elder Abuse

The National Center on Elder Abuse distinguishes between seven different types of elder abuse.

  1.  Physical Abuse: The non-accidental use of force against an elderly person that results in physical pain, injury, or impairment. Such abuse includes not only physical assaults such as hitting or shoving but the inappropriate use of drugs, restraints, or confinement.

  • Sexual Abuse: Any non-consensual sexual contact with an elderly person is considered sexual abuse. Additionally, sexual contact with an elderly person who is incapable of giving consent or who is too confused to fully understand what is happening also is sexual abuse. Common forms of sexual abuse include unwanted touching, sexually explicit photographing, forced nudity, and all types of sexual assault and battery (such as rape and molestation).

  • Emotional and psychological abuse: This is a tough consideration because the victim symptoms may be caused by other physical, mental, medical or aging problems. Watch others in the caregiving process. Is there someone who threatens Mom or Dad, speaks poorly of the parent, or ignores the mature adult or his or her needs?

  • Neglect: An adult’s inability, due to physical and/or mental impairments to perform tasks essential to caring for oneself, including but not limited to, providing essential food, clothing, shelter and medical care; obtaining goods and services necessary to maintain physical health, mental health, emotional well-being and general safety; or managing financial affairs.

  • Financial Abuse: Elder financial abuse is the illegal, unauthorized, or improper use of an older individual’s resources by someone in a trusting relationship with that individual. Often the perpetrator of financial elder abuse is an unscrupulous telemarketer, confidence (or “con”) artist, or any individual who preys on the weaknesses of senior citizens.

Financial exploitation of an elderly person or a person with a disability is:

(1) a Class 4 felony if the value of the property is $300 or less.
(2) a Class 3 felony if the value of the property is more than $300 but less than $5,000.
(3) a Class 2 felony if the value of the property is $5,000 or more but less than $50,000.
(4) a Class 1 felony if the value of the property is $50,000 or more or if the elderly person is over 70 years of age and the value of the property is $15,000 or more or if the elderly person is 80 years of age or older and the value of the property is $5,000 or more.

Who Commits Elder Abuse?

Any person can abuse elders, though it is someone who already has an existing relationship with elders.Elder abuse tends to take place where the senior lives where their abusers are often adult children, other family members such as grandchildren, or a spouse or partner. Elder abuse can also occur in institutional settings, especially long-term care facilities.

Social isolation and mental impairment (such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease ) are two factors. Recent studies show that nearly half of those with dementia experienced abuse or neglect.

Common Defenses For Those Accused Of Elder Abuse

Depending on the course of your charge, you may have to go to court to fight the accusations against you. When fighting elder abuse, there are many defense strategies your lawyer can take, but here are a few common ones:

Self defence: An individual is not criminally liable for elder abuse when acting in self-defense. So this includes defending another person. Normally this is a type of situation where an adult over the age of 65 acted physically aggressive and tried to attack you.

Lack of neglect: Neglect is the most common civil form of an elder abuse claim. It is based on negligence, meaning defendant failed to use the degree of care that a reasonable person in the same situation would have used in the provision of food, clothing or shelter, providing medical care or mental health needs. So this means the defendant must have acted in a manner that created a risk of injury to the victim he or she was caring for. Hence, if the accused actions were careless, and not negligent, good defense lawyers may be able to show there was no willful negligence.

Lack of intent: The prosecutor (the lawyer fighting on behalf of the alleged victim) must prove that you acted with willful intent when committing elder abuse. That means if the event in question was accidental in nature, then elder abuse was not committed, and the case is dismissed.

65 or under: The 65 Years and Over Population, people over the age of 65 are the fastest growing segment of the country’s population. (According to a 1998 study, The National Elder Abuse Incidence Study, over 550,000 incidents of elder abuse were reported every year.) With the increase in the proportion of elders in the population, it is reasonable to predict an increase in the number of cases of elder abuse.

Risk factors for elder abuse

It’s difficult to take care of a senior who has many different needs, and it’s difficult to be elderly when age brings with it infirmities and dependence. Both the demands of caregiving and the needs of the elder can create situations in which abuse is more likely to occur.

  • Depression in the caregiver.
  • Lack of support from other potential caregivers.
  • The caregiver’s perception that taking care of the elder is burdensome and without emotional reward.
  • High levels of hostility.
  • Lack of social support.
  • Unsympathetic or negative attitudes toward residents.
  • Exposure to abuse as a child.

How does this relate to the ACT Against Violence program?

Current research demonstrates that the primary abusers of the elderly are adult children and other family members, indicating that violence against elderly persons occurs mostly at home. It has been suggested that family stresses, both psychological and financial, may be a contributing factor to elder abuse. The ACT program emphasizes the need for families to express and manage their anger and frustration constructively, and model appropriate, non-aggressive behaviors for their children.

Our Process

1. Planning The Case

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2. Evaluate Situation

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3. File The Case To The Court

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4. Gather More Information

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Evaluate Situation

File The Case To The Court

Gather More Information

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