Protecting Your Loved Ones From Elder Abuse

Protecting Your Loved One…

As our loved ones age and develop mental or physical impairments, they become more vulnerable, and, as a result, elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation can more easily occur. Whether the abuse is physical, mental, financial, or otherwise, serious consequences can result. Therefore, you should be aware of the potential for elder abuse and neglect, and take the steps necessary to prevent it from happening to your loved one.

All too often, seniors suffer abuse and neglect at the hands of those who are supposed to care for them. Perpetrators of abuse or neglect can be family members, in-home caregivers, and even professionals in licensed settings, such as adult foster care and nursing homes. Whatever the case may be, the more isolated an elderly person is, the higher the likelihood of abuse and neglect, and the less likely that anyone will notice the treatment that the elderly person is receiving. Therefore, you can prevent many incidents of abuse and neglect simply by checking in on your loved one on a regular basis and ensuring that his or her needs are being met.

You also should recognize the most common signs of abuse or neglect in elderly individuals. For physical abuse, unexplained bruises or lacerations, broken bones, and other signs of pain can be a sign of abuse, along with a reluctance to explain the injuries or seek treatment. Your loved one may be suffering from overmedication, or a lack of medication, if he or she appears to be in pain, confused, or overly sleepy. If your loved one seems to be withdrawn, timid, confused, or deteriorating, either physically or mentally, then he or she may be experiencing abuse or neglect from a caregiver.

If you suspect abuse and neglect of an elderly or vulnerable person, you can contact Adult Protective Services, a division of the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services (DHS), 24 hours per day, at 1-855-444-3911. At Legacy Law Center, we are Michigan estate planning lawyers who dedicate our practice to protecting your interests, as well as the interests of your family. Creating a comprehensive and effective estate plan is no small task, and we know that you will need guidance in navigating through this often complex process. Call our Ann Arbor office today to set up an appointment and learn how to best protect yourself and your family.

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