What Constitutes Elder Abuse?

Elder abuse is a critical issue that demands attention and understanding. In North Carolina, the aging population is particularly vulnerable to various forms of abuse. At Brady Cobin Law Group, PLLC, we believe in recognizing the signs of elder abuse and taking appropriate action. Elder abuse can manifest in several ways, including physical, emotional, financial, or through neglect. It’s important to understand that elder abuse is not just a personal issue but a societal one that affects us all.

Recognizing the Signs of Elder Abuse

Recognizing the signs of elder abuse is critical in safeguarding the well-being of older adults. Elder abuse, unfortunately, can be easily overlooked as its indicators might be subtle or erroneously attributed to normal aging. Detailed attention to the following aspects can help in identifying potential abuse:

  1. Physical Indicators:
    1. Unexplained Injuries: Look for bruises, cuts, burns, or fractures that cannot be adequately explained. Pay attention to recurring patterns of injury, such as bruises in the same area, which might suggest ongoing abuse.
    2. Signs of Improper Care: This could include bedsores (pressure ulcers), which suggest neglect in providing primary care, or unattended medical needs.
    3. Changes in Physical Appearance: Sudden weight loss, poor hygiene, or a disheveled appearance may indicate neglect.
  2. Emotional and Behavioral Signs:
    1. Mood Swings and Fear: Notice if the elder shows signs of depression, anxiety, or fear, especially around specific caregivers or family members.
    2. Withdrawal from Activities: A sudden lack of interest in activities they previously enjoyed can be a warning sign.
    3. Unexplained Changes in Behavior: This includes agitation, aggression, or a general change in personality that can’t be linked to a known medical condition.
  3. Financial Anomalies:
    1. Sudden Changes in Financial Situations: This can involve unusual banking activities, such as large withdrawals, changes in power of attorney, or alterations in wills and estates without plausible explanations.
    2. Unpaid Bills and Lack of Amenities: Despite having adequate resources, if you notice unpaid bills or lack of basic amenities, this could suggest financial exploitation.
  4. Social and Relational Indicators:
    1. Isolation: Be alert if an elder is increasingly isolated from friends and family, especially if this isolation is enforced by a caregiver.
    2. Reluctance to Speak Openly: If the elder seems hesitant to speak in front of certain individuals or appears to be monitored or controlled by someone else, it could be a sign of abuse.
  5. General Considerations:
    1. Patterns of Hospitalization: Frequent hospital visits, especially for similar or recurring injuries, can be indicative of abuse or neglect.
    2. Elder’s Expressions: Sometimes, the elder might directly express experiences of mistreatment or discomfort with specific individuals.

The Legal Perspective on Elder Abuse in NC

From a legal standpoint, elder abuse in North Carolina is taken very seriously. If you suspect an elderly person is being mistreated, it’s essential to know that laws are in place to protect them. Our Brady Cobin Law Group PLLC team is well-versed in these laws and can guide you through watching your loved one. 

Steps to Take if You Suspect Elder Abuse in North Carolina

If you suspect that an elder is a victim of abuse, it’s crucial to act. The first step is to ensure their immediate safety. If they are in immediate danger, call 911. For other situations, report your concerns to local adult protective services. It’s also advisable to consult with a legal professional who understands the nuances of elder law. At Brady Cobin Law Group, PLLC, we can help you go through the legal system to ensure your loved one is protected and receives the care and respect they deserve.

Working with Authorities and Legal Professionals

Collaborating with law enforcement and legal professionals is vital in elder abuse cases. Our team can work alongside authorities to ensure that all aspects of the abuse are thoroughly investigated. We can also provide legal guidance for potential lawsuits or protective orders. Our goal is to ensure that your loved one’s rights are upheld and that they are removed from harmful situations.

Contact Brady Cobin Law Group, PLLC, for Elder Abuse Cases in Raleigh

Elder abuse is a significant issue that requires collective awareness and action. At Brady Cobin Law Group, PLLC, we are committed to fighting against elder abuse and ensuring that our clients in North Carolina receive the justice and protection they deserve. Remember, elder abuse can happen to anyone, and it’s our collective responsibility to look out for the most vulnerable in our society. If you or a loved one are facing elder abuse, don’t hesitate to reach out for help. Call us at (919) 782-3500 or online to speak with a compassionate Raleigh guardianship lawyer.