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Elder Abuse And Neglect: When To Hire A Lawyer

  • June 20, 2024
  • 6 min read
Elder Abuse And Neglect: When To Hire A Lawyer

According to the National Council on Aging, most elder abuse and neglect take place at home. The majority of older adults live in the community, either on their own or with their spouses, children, siblings, or other relatives, rather than in institutional settings. 

As a result, the home is where most abuse happens, with roughly 10% of Americans who are 60 years of age or older having been victims of elder abuse. Some estimate that there may be up to five million elder abuse cases annually. If you or a loved one faces challenging circumstances related to elder care, consider the support of legal counsel.

The lawyers at the San Bernardino elder abuse law firm say that although it can be hard to decide when to seek a lawyer in cases of elder abuse and neglect, hiring a lawyer could be very important when dealing with these sensitive issues

Such situations might benefit from professional guidance to guarantee the protection and well-being of elderly individuals.

Recognizing Signs of Elder Abuse

People with dementia are at increased risk of different forms of abuse due to their cognitive impairment, loss of capacity, communication challenges, and increasing dependence on their caregivers. 

To recognize signs of elder abuse, especially those with dementia, pay close attention to any unexplained injuries or sudden changes in behavior. It could be a red flag if you notice bruises, cuts, or burns that can’t be logically explained. Keep an eye out for signs of fear, anxiety, or depression in your loved one. Sudden changes in mood or behavior, such as becoming withdrawn or agitated, may indicate something is wrong.

Pay attention to their living conditions. A messy or unhygienic environment could be a sign of neglect. Look for signs of financial exploitation, such as missing money or unexplained withdrawals from bank accounts.

But how long can a person with dementia live at home or in memory care if you recognize those signs? While it all depends on the progression of the disease and the level of support available, trust your instincts and take action if you suspect your loved one has dementia. Talk to your loved one in a safe and private setting to discuss your concerns. If abuse occurs, document any signs of abuse or neglect with photos or written notes. Contact local authorities or adult protective services for guidance on how to proceed. Early intervention is key to protecting your loved one from further harm.

Legal Rights of Elderly Victims

Elderly victims have the right to be free from physical, emotional, and financial abuse. In cases of abuse or neglect, they have the legal right to seek assistance from law enforcement, adult protective services, or an attorney specializing in elder law. These professionals can help victims understand their rights and take appropriate legal action.

Know that elderly victims also have the right to confidentiality and privacy when reporting abuse or neglect. They can seek protective orders or restraining orders against abusers for their safety.

Elderly victims have the right to pursue compensation for damages caused by abuse or neglect, including medical expenses, pain and suffering, and, in some cases, punitive damages. Understanding these legal rights empowers elderly victims to take action and seek justice for the harm they’ve endured.

Importance of Seeking Legal Help

When you suspect an elderly person is being mistreated or neglected, consulting with a lawyer specializing in elder law can provide the necessary guidance and support to handle the complicated legal system. A lawyer can help you understand the legal rights of the elderly individual, assess the situation, and determine the best course of action to protect their well-being.

While anyone can be a perpetrator of elder abuse, it is most often committed by family members or caregivers. These people are trusted advisors and carers of the individual, so they let their guard down. They also have power and authority over the individual. They are able to isolate the victim and keep them silent while they continue the abuse.

Legal help is essential in making sure that the abused or neglected elderly person receives the necessary care, support, and protection. A lawyer can assist in gathering evidence, filing complaints, obtaining protective orders, and representing the elderly person in court if necessary. They can also help you understand the applicable laws and regulations related to elder abuse and neglect so that the appropriate legal steps are taken to address the situation effectively.

Role of Lawyers in Elder Abuse Cases

When should you involve a lawyer in cases of elder abuse and neglect? Lawyers in elder abuse cases provide legal guidance, advocate for the rights of the elderly, and pursue justice on their behalf. Consult with a lawyer who specializes in elder law if you suspect that an elderly person is being abused or neglected. These legal professionals have the expertise to deal with legal issues related to elder abuse, such as filing lawsuits against abusive caregivers or facilities, seeking protective orders, and making sure that the victim receives the necessary care and support.

Lawyers can also help gather evidence, interview witnesses, and build a strong case to hold the abusers accountable for their actions. They can assist in recovering damages for the harm caused to the elderly individual and work towards preventing future instances of abuse.

When to Consult With a Lawyer

Consulting a lawyer immediately can be helpful in cases of elder abuse and neglect to have the protection of the elderly individual’s rights and pursuit of justice. If you suspect that an elderly person is being mistreated or neglected, seeking legal advice early on can make a significant difference in the outcome.

Consult with a lawyer when there are signs of physical, emotional, financial, or any other form of abuse towards an elderly individual. Legal professionals have the expertise to assess the situation, determine the appropriate course of action, and represent the elderly person in court if necessary. By consulting with a lawyer immediately, you can take the steps to protect the elderly individual from further harm and hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions. Don’t hesitate to seek legal help when dealing with elder abuse and neglect cases.


If you suspect an elderly loved one is experiencing abuse or neglect, don’t hesitate to seek legal help. A lawyer can help protect their rights and hold the responsible parties accountable. Remember, it’s never too late to seek justice for those who can’t speak up for themselves. Don’t wait, take action now to guarantee the safety and well-being of your elderly family member.

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Alyona Jain