Elder abuse may be charged when someone creates (or fails to act against) risk or physical harm to a person who is 60 years or older. About two-thirds of those who cause such abuse are family members of the elder. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), this nationwide and growing concern stems from economic problems as well as the physical and mental states of both the elder and the abuser.
The Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services describes abuse to the elderly as:
- Physical, which may be the intentional or reckless acts of family members or caregivers
- Emotional, described as actions or words with the purpose of humiliation, intimidation, or fright
- Sexual, which is a violation of the state criminal assault law
- Treatment without consent, meaning the person given treatment has not given informed consent
- Unreasonable confinement or restraint; meaning that an elder is confined to an area or is held under restraints.
Other listed forms of elderly abuse include:
- Financial exploitation, described as money or property that is taken from the person by deception of some sort
- Neglect, which describes a caregiver’s failure to provide proper care, services, or supervision of an adult
- Self-neglect, which describes danger to someone who is responsible for his or her own care but fails to do so
If you have been a witness to any abuse of the elderly or have reason to believe that an elder is being treated in a deliberate or reckless manner that causes abuse or fright or neglect, report the suspected problem. Every county in Wisconsin has a specific agency for care and abuse of adults. In addition, if you are involved in any way with possible elder abuse, contact Wisconsin Personal injury attorneys, McLario, Helm, Bertling & Spiegel, S.C.