» Elder Abuse A Widespread And Underreported Problem

Elder Abuse A Widespread And Underreported Problem

Palo Alto, CA (Law Firm Newswire) August 30, 2013 – June 15, 2013 was designated World Elder Abuse Awareness Day by the United Nations.

The day was set aside to encourage a wider recognition of elder abuse in communities and as a call for countries to work on policies that support respect for the elderly.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), at least 6 percent of the elderly population experiences some form of abuse; the numbers are unclear, as the abuse, more often than not, goes unreported. Elder researchers say that abuse of the elderly is one of the biggest issues facing senior citizens throughout the world.

"Elder abuse here in California is legally defined as the mistreatment of someone age 65 or older," stated Palo Alto estate planning attorney Michael Gilfix. "Elder abuse is not restricted to the occasional 'bad' nursing home or unstable home environment. It can and does happen in all types of care settings and even the best institutional care facility."

Elder abuse may include one or all of the following: abandonment; abduction; physical abuse; sexual abuse; psychological abuse; financial abuse; neglect; and isolation. Elder abuse has wide-ranging consequences; elderly individuals who have been abused are twice as likely to need hospitalization as those who have not suffered abuse; as much as three times more likely to die as non-victims and four times likely as non-victims to need nursing home care. As many as 5 million elderly people are neglected or abused yearly in the United States, according to the U.S. Administration on Aging. Elder care researchers state that at least one in ten elders may experience abuse, but only one in every 23 cases is reported.

Elder care advocates are pushing for members of the public to be better informed about elder abuse warning signs, and urge that people contact local police or Adult Protective Services in their area if they suspect that abuse may be occurring.

Signs of possible abuse include an elderly person who becomes socially withdrawn, who has unexplained bruises or other injuries, who uncharacteristically stops caring about personal hygiene, unusual banking withdrawals or changes to a will or other estate planning changes, and loss of property.

The best defense is a carefully considered, sophisticated estate plan. Such a plan includes a living trust, a Durable Power of Attorney, and an Advance Directive. Each document names a trusted person to take over management of assets and health care if a person becomes fragile. Care must be taken to choose individuals who are truly trustworthy, and to sometimes build in oversight by a third party.

Facebook: Like Us!

  • How fear of death can present a hurdle to retirement planning
    A new study has found that many people fail to make necessary decisions about the future because they are too scared to think about death. According to researchers from Boston College in Massachusetts, fear of death causes individuals to avoid preparing financially for old age. The anxiety can affect choices about managing savings for retirement, […]
  • The difference between conservatorship and guardianship in California
    Every individual hopes to live an independent life in which they are able manage their own affairs. However, mental or physical incapacity may leave a person unable to make informed decisions for themselves. In such cases, conservatorship and guardianship are legal tools that can be used to help protect an adult or child’s wellbeing. Both […]
  • Choosing Wisely: avoiding bad care and maximizing the chance of getting good care
    By Myra Gerson Gilfix The Choosing Wisely campaign, an initiative by the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation in partnership with Consumer Reports (begun in 2012), is an attempt to alert both doctors and patients to problematic and commonly overused medical tests, procedures and treatments. From their website:   “In 2012 the ABIM Foundation launched Choosing Wisely® with a […]
  • Gilfix & La Poll attorneys speak at NAELA Summit
    Attorneys Michael Gilfix and Mark R. Gilfix of Gilfix & La Poll Associates appeared as featured speakers at two sessions during the 2016 National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys Summit in Newport Beach, California, on January 28 and 29. Michael Gilfix is one of NAELA’s original founding members. They addressed audiences of more than 100 […]
  • How an IRA Trust can help avert disaster
    By Attorney Elijah Keyes A father designated his son and daughter as the beneficiaries of his large retirement account. The daughter’s husband was physically abusive and the couple had been considering divorce. The father was adamant that his son-in-law receive nothing from his estate. After a very healthy life, the daughter was diagnosed with stage […]

See other news sources publishing this article. BETA | Tags: , , , , ,



Get headlines from Law Firm Newswire sent right to your inbox.

* indicates required