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The facts on elder abuse and neglect

Florida residents whose parents are aging may be concerned about the type of care that their loved ones will be receiving. The National Institute of Justice estimates that 10 percent of senior citizens in the U.S. are subjected to some form of elder abuse every year. Elder abuse may be hard to prove, as it often depends on the nature of the offense and the severity of any existing conditions.

Emotional stress resulting in abuse is not uncommon among caregivers who are resentful or feel forced into their role. Sometimes elder abuse transpires when a family member is compelled to take a senior out of a care facility and has to provide the care at home. Many of the cases involve a significant amount of neglect, a criminal offense often resulting in incarceration if a conviction is obtained.

The Center of Excellence on Elder Abuse and Neglect at the University of California, Irvine, reported that more than 45 percent of caregivers have mistreated a dementia patient they previously had a close bond with. Research also indicates that the risk of elder abuse increases with age, and that older females suffer these offenses at a higher rate than male seniors.

Anyone suspecting that a loved one has been abused by a caregiver may benefit from confiding in legal counsel. A lawyer be prepared to investigate the allegations and help identify any of the parties who may have been involved. In a situation of nursing home neglect, the victim may be entitled to receive compensation from the responsible parties, in some cases including the facility itself, for the ensuing injuries and rehabilitation costs.

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