Elder abuse can take many forms ranging from self-neglect arising from a vulnerable adult’s inability to care for his/her own needs, to financial exploitation, neglect, physical or even sexual abuse by third parties. Although Adult Protective Services (“APS”) investigated over six thousand reports last year, it is still thought this represents only the tip of the iceberg and that most elder abuse remains hidden and unreported.
Recently, the iconic actor Mickey Rooney helped raise awareness on elder abuse concerns when he testified to a Senate committed about how he was personally victimized by a family member. Click here to read more about this.
If you suspect an elderly person is being abused, contact APS immediately. APS partners with a variety of agencies to provide a comprehensive set of services to help the vulnerable adults live as independently as possible.
You should also consider initiating guardianship/conservatorship proceedings to bring the elderly person and their property under the protection of the Court. When these proceedings are instituted, the Court will assign the elderly person an attorney, and will send an investigator to visit with the elderly person. Additionally, the elder person’s medical condition(s) will be reviewed. If found to be in need of a guardian or conservator, the Court will put orders in place regarding the person or persons who will oversee the vulnerable adult and will require annual reporting. Contact a knowledgeable attorney to better assess the need for a guradianship/conservatorship in your particular situation.