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Types of Elder Abuse and Recognizing Them to Help Abuse Victims

By Orlando Personal Injury Attorney on July 5, 2012

There are many nursing homes, assisted living facilities and other types of long-term care here in Florida, and grim stories about elder abuse are a common theme in newspapers and other media outlets. These stories tend to focus on sexual abuse and other prurient topics, but Orlando elder abuse attorney James O. Cunningham would like you to know that there are other types of elder abuse that are no less devastating to victims and their families.

Knowing these types of abuse and tell-tale signs is critically important to recognizing abuse early and taking steps to protect victims from further abuse. To that end, here is a brief rundown on other types of elder abuse:

  • Neglect
    Any failure of caregivers to honor their responsibilities to someone under their care can be considered neglect. This can include, but is not limited to, the failure to provide adequate food, shelter, water, proper hygiene, medicine, safety, medical care and other essential services.
  • Emotional and psychological abuse
    Some caregivers abuse the people under their care by using words and actions to intimidate, frighten, insult, humiliate and harass them. The effects of this type of elder abuse are devastating to victims, who frequently withdraw and isolate themselves from everyone around them, even loved ones.
  • Financial exploitation
    Anyone who has a fiduciary responsibility to handle another person’s financial affairs and then takes advantage of this position to use that person’s assets improperly is committing elder abuse. This can include many different kinds of malfeasance, but ultimately, this type of abuse is theft from those least able to do anything about it.
  • Physical abuse
    It is difficult for most of us to understand why anyone would physically abuse anyone under his or her care, but it happens every day in Florida. Signs of physical abuse include unexplained bruises, broken bones, lacerations, internal injuries and other obvious and not-so-obvious indications. If you see signs of abuse and explanations from the victim don’t seem true or make sense, it is probably because the victim feels ashamed of being unable to prevent the abuse.
  • Abandonment
    Abandonment is fairly straightforward. When a person entrusted with providing care for someone effectively deserts that person, he or she can be liable for elder abuse damages.

It is incumbent upon all of us to report elder abuse whenever we see or suspect it. Most victims are unable or unwilling to report abuse and name their abusers, as they are afraid of reprisals. If you suspect that anyone is suffering from abuse, contact your local police department as soon as possible. If the abuse victim is a family member and you would like to explore your legal options against the abuser and those who facilitate the abuse, contact Mr. Cunningham by calling 888-425-2004. Victims need and deserve to have an experienced and aggressive Orlando personal injury lawyer protecting their rights and working hard to prevent abusers from harming others. Call today to schedule a free consultation.

James O. Cunningham

Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.

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