Elder Abuse

As the bumper sticker says, there is no excuse for elder abuse. However, it is rampant. I am currently pursuing a case in which a caretaker induced her patient to give her a power of attorney and then helped herself to over $200,000.00 and convinced him to sign a new will giving her everything. Fortunately, the rest is “locked down”.

Found the following article on the subject which I though was interesting.

“Elder abuse, which can take the form of sexual or emotional abuse, physical violence and even financial manipulation, affects at least 10 percent of older Americans, according to a review article in the Thursday edition of the New England Journal of Medicine.

That figure, researchers note, is likely an underestimate because it’s based on self-reported cases, and potential victims often suffer from dementia or are otherwise isolated from people who might notice something is wrong. But the estimate drives home how pervasive the problem is, and how familiar its victims might be.

Elder abuse can happen to residents in nursing homes or those living with family members. The “young old” are more likely to be affected. And if unchecked, elder abuse increases risk of death and can result in long-term harm — putting its victims in the hospital and emergency room and increasing their odds of physical and mental illness.

And, because the abuse can take various forms and the issues involved are complex, there is rarely a single, easy solution. Instead, with this review of research from the past decade, the authors conclude that multidisciplinary strategies offer the most effective responses.

For example, if someone is being physically harmed, he orshe could need help from a primary care doctor. But once this initial problem is recognized, it might become clear that the victim also needs a new place to live, which would make the assistance of housing authorities key. Or, if someone is scamming the older person, or withholding his or her money, getting help at the bank also makes sense.

“These cases do not resolve magically — often these play out over months or years,” said Mark Lachs, the paper’s lead author and director for the Center of Aging Research and Clinical Care at Cornell University. “When you’re trying to bring a whole variety of services to a victim or family,” it helps to have them all connected to each other.

Lachs is also the medical director for the New York City Elder Abuse Center, which uses an integrated approach to treat victims of elder abuse. They’ve also been trying to help doctors in other cities develop similar programs,he said. There aren’t any data tracking how common these kinds of formal alliances are, said Robert Blancato, the national coordinator for the Elder Justice Coalition, an advocacy group focused on preventing abuse of older people. Anecdotally, however, he’s seen many doctors and other service providers across the country using this multidisciplinary strategy — and “when they stick to it and do it, they can show results,” he said.”

Categories: Uncategorized.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *