What is Elder Abuse in Georgia?

elderly man upset

elderly man upsetElder abuse in Georgia is illegal, and the law provides remedies for people harmed by this abuse

For most people, abuse of the elderly is such an abhorrent idea. Unfortunately, elder abuse is much more common than most people realize.

Elder abuse happens in various ways, and the perpetrators of the abuse come from all walks of life. Sometimes the abusers are staff members of a nursing home. Often, the abusers are members of the elderly person’s family. Elder abuse in Georgia is illegal, and the law provides remedies for people harmed by this abuse. If you discover that an elderly loved one is being abused, seek assistance from a Georgia elder abuse attorney immediately.

Understanding the types of elder abuse

Georgia law says that elder abuse can include physical and emotional abuse, sexual abuse, financial abuse, financial abuse, exploitation, and neglect. The Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC), say that elder abuse “is an intentional act or failure to act that causes or creates a risk of harm to an older adult.”

Some of the most common types of elder abuse that occur include:

  • Physical abuse includes any physical interaction with an elderly person that is meant to inflict pain. This includes punching, hitting, slapping, pushing, burning, pulling, or other harmful physical action.
  • Sexual abuse includes any forced sexual contact between an elderly person and another person. This is not the same thing as consensual sex. This is not consensual and is illegal.
  • Emotional or psychological abuse occurs in a variety of ways. In can include any behavior meant to inflict distress in an elderly person, including isolation, intimidation, name-calling, destruction of property, and more.
  • Neglect includes any behavior that leads to an elderly person’s basic needs not being met. Basic needs include food, water, hygiene, clothing, and medical care.
  • Financial abuse: nursing home staff and management have access to residents’ money and personal information. Stealing from residents is a form of abuse.

Who are the perpetrators of elder abuse?

Various people commit elder abuse, including:

  • Nursing home staff
  • In-home care staff
  • Family members
  • Friends and acquaintances

It is important to recognize the signs and symptoms of elder abuse. This type of abuse is often hard to detect. In many cases, the victim of abuse is not able to communicate what is happening to them to their loved ones. Other times, victims have been threatened by their abusers and told not to tell anyone what happened.

Please note these various physical and behavioral signs of elder abuse:

  1. Physical Abuse and Neglect Indicators of Elderly Abuse: A range of physical signs could indicate that abuse or neglect has occurred, including:
    • Malnutrition and/or dehydration of the elderly person
    • Bedsores, pressure sores, pressure ulcers
    • Unexplained weight loss
    • Painful reactions by the elderly person when touched (wincing or grimacing)
    • Unexplained bruises, broken bones, broken teeth, skin tears, etc.1.
  2. Behavioral Indicators of Elderly Abuse: An abused elderly victim may display the following behavior signs:
    • Anger
    • Anxiety
    • Confusion or disorientation
    • Defensiveness
    • Depression
    • Fear of certain members of staff or volunteers
    • Fear
    • Helplessness
    • Hesitation to talk openly
    • Giving implausible excuses
    • Non-responsiveness
    • Withdrawal
    • Agitation

What to do if you discover Georgia elder abuse

If you discover your elderly loved one has been abused, or if you suspect abuse, you should report it to law enforcement immediately. Get your loved one to a safe location and then call a Georgia elder abuse attorney who can guide you through this process. Your loved one may be entitled to compensation for what has happened to them. Your attorney will work to prove liability in this case and work to hold the abusers accountable for their actions.

Jeb Butler
Jeb Butler’s career as a Georgia trial lawyer has led to a $150 million verdict in a product liability case against Chrysler for a dangerous vehicle design that caused the death of a child, a $45 million settlement for a young man who permanently lost the ability to walk and talk, and numerous other verdicts and settlements, many of which are confidential at the defendant’s insistence. Jeb has worked on several cases that led to systemic changes and improvements in public safety. He has been repeatedly recognized as a Georgia SuperLawyer and ranks among Georgia’s legal elite. Jeb graduated in the top 10% of his class at UGA Law, argued on the National Moot Court team, and published in the Law Review. He is the founding partner of Butler Kahn law firm. Connect with me on LinkedIn



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