Elder abuse and neglect are painful realities that afflict senior citizens across the United States, leaving them vulnerable and often unable to report their experiences. These individuals rely on others for support and care, making them susceptible to mistreatment and neglect. This is where an attorney for nursing home abuse comes in, providing the legal representation and support necessary to pursue justice for victims of nursing home negligence. Gallon, Takacs, and Boissoneault are a trusted team of Toledo nursing home negligence attorneys, dedicated to fighting for the rights and well-being of seniors in their community. If you or a loved one has suffered from elder abuse or neglect, consider reaching out to these compassionate advocates for help.


Understanding Elder Abuse and Neglect


Elder abuse refers to any intentional act or failure to act by a caregiver or trusted individual that causes harm, injury, or distress to people over 65. Neglect, on the other hand, is defined as a caregiver’s failure to fulfill an older adult’s basic needs, including food, shelter, medical care, and personal hygiene. Both of these issues are serious and can take many forms, from physical abuse and neglect to financial exploitation and psychological mistreatment.


Barriers to Reporting


One of the critical reasons why elder abuse and neglect are so prevalent is that people often fail to report these incidents. Many elderly individuals may feel ashamed or embarrassed to speak out about their experiences or may even fear retribution from their abusers. In other cases, they may have difficulty communicating their concerns due to cognitive limitations or physical impairments. As a result, it’s essential for family members, caregivers, and other individuals to be vigilant in looking for signs of abuse or neglect and to take appropriate action when necessary.


Statistics on Elder Abuse


The National Council on Aging indicates a rising trend of elder abuse in the United States, with one in ten Americans over the age of 60 having experienced some form of abuse, leaving them vulnerable and endangered. This heartbreaking issue affects numerous seniors, necessitating our understanding of the signs of elder abuse and its causes, along with preventive measures.


Elder Abuse and Neglect in Ohio


The Ohio Attorney General’s office reported over 16,000 cases of elder abuse or neglect in Ohio in 2020, which indicates a 22% increase from the previous year. Among these cases, neglect accounted for roughly 54%, while physical abuse accounted for 28%. Reported cases involving sexual abuse, emotional abuse, and financial exploitation were comparatively smaller. However, these numbers likely underestimate the actual problem as many more cases of elder abuse and neglect are suspected to go unreported out of fear or shame.


Elder Abuse and Neglect in Michigan


When it comes to elder abuse and neglect, Michigan also experiences troubling statistics. In 2019, Michigan reported over 44,000 total cases of abuse, neglect, or exploitation of vulnerable adults, with over 13,000 involving individuals aged 60 or older. Reported cases were primarily physical abuse, followed by neglect, financial exploitation, and emotional abuse. In Michigan, individuals can report abuse by contacting the Adult Protective Services or filing a report with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. 


What are the Signs of Elder Neglect



Physical Signs


Physical abuse is the intentional use of force that results in injury, pain, or impairment. Elderly individuals can suffer various forms of physical abuse, including hitting, slapping, pushing, or even confinement. According to the National Council on Aging, approximately 10% of elderly Americans have experienced physical abuse in some form. However, physical abuse is severely underreported, with only 1 in 14 cases being reported to authorities. If you observe any signs of physical abuse, like unexplained injuries or bruises, be sure to investigate further and report it to the authorities.


Emotional Signs


Emotional abuse, also known as psychological abuse, is the systematic use of threats, intimidation, or manipulation to control and degrade another person. This type of abuse can be challenging to detect, but it’s no less devastating. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, up to 5 million elderly individuals experience emotional abuse each year. Some of the most common signs of emotional abuse include unexplained changes in behavior or mood, low self-esteem, and feelings of worthlessness or powerlessness.

Financial Signs


Financial abuse occurs when someone exploits or misuses an older adult’s finances or assets for personal gain. Often, financial abuse occurs when a family member, friend, or neighbor builds a relationship of trust to gain control of their finances. The abuse can manifest in various ways, such as stealing money or possessions, forging signatures, or coercing someone into giving away their assets. Determining the actual extent of financial abuse is challenging since the victims may not even be aware of it. However, experts estimate that elderly Americans lose over $2.9 billion annually due to financial abuse.


Environmental Signs


It may be hard to imagine, but a neglectful caretaker can subject an older adult to dire conditions, including soiled bedding, insufficient heating or cooling, dirty living spaces, and vermin infestations. These environmental factors can be clear indicators of neglect, highlighting the importance of paying attention to these signs for the safety and well-being of older adults, ultimately stopping the continuation of neglect.


Behavioral Signs


Neglect often manifests through behavioral signs, particularly in vulnerable individuals who cannot communicate their experiences. When a caretaker neglects someone, the person may show changes in behavior, including appetite and sleeping habits, decreased energy levels, and social withdrawal. They may feel isolated and alone, incapable of seeking help or support from loved ones. Failure to intervene can escalate these behavioral changes, resulting in numerous negative consequences for the individual’s health and well-being. It is vital to recognize signs of neglect and act promptly.


Steps to Address Elder Abuse and Neglect


To combat elder abuse and neglect, we all must do more to educate the public, professionals, and care providers about the urgent nature of the issue. It is crucial to raise awareness and offer education and training for caregivers regarding the prevention, detection, and reporting of elder abuse and neglect. Organizations such as the National Council on Aging and the National Center on Elder Abuse work towards providing resources and support to fight against elder abuse and neglect.


Taking Action: Reporting and Seeking Help


Elder abuse and neglect pose serious problems with devastating effects on our elderly loved ones. Staying aware of the warning signs of elder neglect is crucial to prevent further harm. If you suspect that someone is neglecting your elderly loved one, report it to the authorities or seek help from professional caregivers without hesitation. Neglect and abuse can cause significant physical and emotional damage to seniors if left unaddressed. Our responsibility is to protect older adults from harm and remain alert for any signs of mistreatment. By taking action and reporting suspected abuse or neglect, we can ensure the safety and comfort of our loved ones as they age.


Protecting the Rights of the Elderly


At the Law Firm of Gallon, Takacs & Boissnoeault, we understand how elder abuse and neglect can devastate individuals and families. Our team of experienced attorneys is committed to providing legal support and fighting for justice for those who have suffered. Whether it’s institutional abuse in nursing homes or mistreatment by family members, our firm has the expertise and determination to handle a range of cases related to elder abuse and neglect. With our unwavering commitment to protecting the rights of older adults, we’re ready to stand by your side and help bring peace of mind to you and your loved ones. Contact us today at 419-843-6663 or through our convenient online contact form.