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Understanding elder abuse and neglect: what victims need to know

Elder abuse and neglect are significant issues that can have serious physical, emotional and financial repercussions. Even though some victims of elder abuse and neglect may not be able to speak for themselves, the families of victims can benefit from knowing if legal options exist for financial redress. If a West Virginia family suspects that their loved one is a victim of mistreatment, it can be helpful to understand what behavior actually qualifies as elder abuse.

Elder abuse can come at the hands of a family member, healthcare provider or any individual in contact with an elderly person. Older individuals are more susceptible to mistreatment and harm -- physically, emotionally and financially. Elder abuse is often defined as exploitation of a vulnerable, adult of an advanced age.

Elder abuse can include physical, emotional or sexual harm. Neglect or abandonment maybe considered forms of elder abuse, as could financially exploiting an elderly individual. A victim and/or the victim's family may find it useful to seek a third-party opinion to establish if the actions in question constitute elder abuse.Not every abuse victim shows physical signs of mistreatment, so it can be beneficial to seek assistance from an attorney experienced in these matters in order to better understand the legal steps appropriate for the situation.

When a loved one is a suspected victim of abuse, there are options available for the family and victim. Elder abuse and neglect is unacceptable, and West Virginia victims may be eligible for financial relief for pain and suffering and other monetary damages through the successful litigation of a civil lawsuit. When there are concerns about the treatment of a family member, a case evaluation can determine if abuse is likely, and an elder abuse attorney can offer valuable support and guidance in achieving justice.

Source: aoa.gov, "What is Elder Abuse?", Dec. 6, 2015

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