A study conducted by researchers at Cornell and the University of Toronto recently found that over 1 in 10 older adults in the state of New York is at risk of becoming the victims of elder abuse over the next decades. Poor health has been determined to be a major risk factor in abuse. Black elderly individuals are also reported to be at a greater risk of financial abuse.
The study, Estimated Incidence and Factors Associated with Risk of Elder Mistreatment in New York State, tracked abuse over time among hundreds of older adults who had not previously been abused. The study subsequently determined that elder abuse is widespread. The research followed elderly adults over a 10 year period.
While the study only examined New York state, the researchers who performed the study have commented that the results are likely to be indicative of the conditions that exist in the rest of the country.
How to Help Your Loved One Reduce Their Risk of Elder Abuse
One of the most common questions asked by people who are familiar with the prevalence of elder abuse in New York in the rest of the country is what they can do to avoid their loved one being exposed to elder abuse. Some of the most helpful pieces of advice that you can follow include:
- Various signs suggest elder abuse including changes in your loved one’s behavior. Changes to your loved one’s financial situation can also hint at abuse. By learning these signs and symptoms, you can increase your chances of being able to catch abuse in its earliest phases.
- An elderly individual is more likely to end up a victim of abuse if he or she does not take full responsibility for their finances. It’s normal for older individuals to entrust another family member to manage their finances, but this greatly increases the odds of abuse.
- Stay in contact with your elderly loved one and inquire about any new friends that they might have. By staying up to date with your loved one, you can also provide help when it is necessary to do so.
- If you are concerned about your loved one’s well-being, one of the best steps that you can take is to speak with them about it.
- Routinely check in with the elderly individual to see if there are any signs of elderly abuse. If you notice financial abuse, report it to the bank. For other types of abuse, it is often a good idea to contact Adult Protective Services or the local police.
Obtain the Assistance of an Experienced Elder Law Attorney
Elder abuse impacts more than the victim and can also create hardships for the family of the victim as well as the victim’s caregivers. If you or a loved one has been the victim of elder abuse, you should not hesitate to speak with a compassionate lawyer. Contact Ettinger Law Firm today to schedule a free case evaluation.