Elder abuse is a broad term and according to the United States Administration on Aging it incorporates physical, sexual or emotional abuse as well as neglect, exploitation or abandonment of any vulnerable adult. Isolation and mental impairment contribute to abusers ability to take advantage of older adults. Statistics vary widely as to the incidences of abuse, but one remains constant: reports of abuse have increased every year since 1996. Last year in Colorado, individuals reported over 4000 incidences of abuse, which means the real number is significantly higher. Of those 4000 reports, over 70% related to people over the age of sixty. Sadly, the perpetrators of the abuse, exploitation or neglect are most often family members or caregivers.
Seniors can help themselves by planning for issues related to aging. We recommend that everyone, while he has capacity, execute powers of attorney for health care and finance. Additionally we encourage everyone to consider working with her health care provider to execute the MOST (Medical Order for Scope of Treatment) document to insure that your wishes are honored with regard to end of life issues.
You may download this form for free at www.coloradoadvancedirectives.com.
By determining whom you most trust when you have capacity to make this decision, you can avoid being the subject of certain kinds of abuse. Staying active, avoiding isolation, and knowing your rights, may also help to prevent the most common forms of abuse. However, if you are being abused or suspect that someone is exploiting a senior you know, please contact the authorities immediately.
At Groves Law, we can provide you with many options to protect your loved ones, and we are highly experienced in chasing wrongdoers through the court system.