Elder 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:
- Confusion or disorientation
- Fear of certain members of staff or volunteers
- Hesitation to talk openly
- Giving implausible excuses
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.