Elder law attorneys strive to help families create the estate plans, power of attorney tools, and other end of life care options they will need for elderly family members to spend their golden years with ease of mind and in comfort. When elderly individuals are abused, neglected, or exploited by the very caregivers in whom they trust, these plans for a comfortable, safe, and contented retirement can easily be shattered.
How big is the problem of elder abuse in the United States? According to the National Council on Elder Abuse, it’s hard to know for sure. The 2010 Census identified 40 million people age 65 or older currently residing in the United States. Tens of thousands of these individuals receive some sort of assistance with daily life, whether it’s from family members, a home health care aide, or while living in an assisted living or nursing home setting.
Yet when abuse, neglect, or injury does occur, elderly individuals are often afraid to report it. One study of elderly nursing home residents in New York estimated that for every case of abuse or neglect that was brought to the attention of authorities, 14 to 24 cases went unreported. Another study found that 7 to 10 percent of elderly individuals surveyed could describe instances of abuse or neglect they had suffered from caregivers in the previous year.
Elder law attorneys can do much to help prevent abuse, neglect, or exploitation before it begins. Don’t hesitate to contact an attorney at Kreisher Marshall & Associates, LLC in Columbia County for help in the many areas of law that affect the lives of older people.