Sarah was 73 years old when she allowed her daughter and son-in-law to move into her house. Due to the economy, the young couple was struggling financially. They wanted to move in with Sarah until they could get re-established financially.
Within a short period of time, Sarah was living in the smallest room in the house. Richard, her son-in-law, became the self-appointed head of household, making all the decisions. He would frequently intimidate and threaten Sarah to keep her silent. With time, he had control of her finances and would not allow her to have visitors in her home or go out of the home without them in attempt to isolate her from others.
One evening, Sarah confronted him about some missing money and jewelry of hers. He slapped her on the face, causing her to fall. Afterward, he stated, “You are a silly old woman.” Sarah felt trapped but was too embarrassed and afraid to report the abuse. She secretly wished that someone would “fill in the blanks” of her situation and contact authorities. It was her only hope.
Family Members can be Culprits in Elder Abuse
Sarah’s experience is a common problem to many older adults termed elder abuse. Elder abuse occurs within all socio-economic levels, racial backgrounds and religious groups. Typically, it consists of physical, sexual, and/or financial abuse combined with abandonment, isolation, neglect and self-neglect issues. There are 1.5 million cases of elder abuse reported across the nation each year, but it is estimated that only 1 in 14 case are ever reported.
Eighty-six percent of the abusers have an ongoing relationship with the victim, such as a spouse, partner, adult child and/or an extended family member. As a result, elder abuse is considered a type of domestic violence. Because it is in the family, the abused are often reluctant to report to the authorities due to embarrassment, shame and fear of retaliation. Typically, the only way that elder abuse is reported is from concerned members of the community. Presently, the abused, aging population relies upon their community to “fill in the blanks” and report any suspected elder abuse that might alleviate their pain, suffering and humiliation. Elder Abuse Awareness is something each and everyone of us must be cognizant of.
Should you be the victim or know of any elder that has been victimized by physical abuse, neglect, medical neglect, isolation and / or financial abuse, please immediately contact attorney Steven Peck toll free at 1-866-999-9085 for an initial free consultation.
About the Author
Attorney Steven Peck has been practicing law since 1981. A former successful business owner, Mr. Peck initially focused his legal career on business law. Within the first three years, after some colleagues and friend’s parents endured nursing home neglect and elder abuse, he continued his education to begin practicing elder law and nursing home abuse law.