Preventing Elder Abuse by: Vancouver, WA Personal Injury Attorney Colin Scott

Adults over 70 are one of the fastest growing populations in the U.S. Unfortunately, many of these individuals are reaching a point where they can no longer care for themselves. For the husbands, wives, and adult children of those who can no longer live on their own, this often means placing our loved ones in a nursing home or assisted living facility.

You have every right to expect that your elderly loved one will be properly taken care of by the nursing homes and assisted living facilities paid to look after them. But the shocking truth is that elder abuse is on the rise today with as many as 5 million occurrences every year—many of which are never reported.

Here at The Scott Law Firm, PLLC we are determined to see the rising tide of elder abuse turned. We aim to help not only our clients who suspect that a loved one is the victim of elder abuse, but also empower the husbands, wives, and adult children with information that will help them recognize the signs of elder abuse and prevent it from occurring.

If you suspect that a loved one is a victim of elder abuse or would like to receive information about how you can prevent elder abuse from occurring in your community, contact personal injury attorney Colin Scott and The Scott Law Firm, PLLC today by completing our online form or simply give us a call for a free consultation. Phone: (360) 718-3640.


Below are answers to frequently asked questions about elder abuse.

What is elder abuse?

There is no universally accepted definition of the term “elder abuse.” Generally speaking, however, elder abuse can include: physical abuse, neglect, psychological and emotional abuse, financial abuse, healthcare fraud, and sexual abuse.

What are the signs of elder abuse?

Elder abuse frequently occurs out of the sight of husbands, wives, and adult children who have placed their elderly loved ones under the care of a nursing home or assisted living facility. As a result, signs of elder abuse are frequently overlooked. Signs may include:

Physical Abuse
  • Broken bones, sprains, and dislocations.
  • Unexplained injuries such as bruising, welts, or scars.
  • Symmetrical bruising and welts on both wrists, arms, legs, ankles, or shoulders.
  • Drug overdose or withholding a prescribed medicine.
  • Broken eyeglasses.
  • Marks from restraints on limbs.
  • Abnormal weight loss, malnutrition, or dehydration.
  • Untreated sores and wounds.
  • Poor personal hygiene for example, in obvious need of a bath, unwashed hair, un-brushed teeth, unclipped nails, etc.
  • Unsanitary living conditions such as soiled garments, signs of rodent or insect infestation, poor housekeeping of room and toilet, etc.
  • Inappropriate clothing for weather/temperature.
  • The elder is frequently left unattended.
Psychological & Emotional Abuse
  • Symptoms may include habitual rocking, thumb sucking, or mumbling.
  • Nonverbal signs of fright at the sight of a caregiver such as widening eyes, trying to make self-smaller, touch avoidance, etc.
Financial Exploitation
  • Misuse of funds such as personal checks, credit cards, or bank accounts.
  • Stealing cash and personal valuables such as jewelry, artwork, or clothing.
  • Forgery of signature.
  • Identity theft.
  • Embezzlement from investment accounts.
Healthcare Fraud
  • Billing for unnecessary medical services.
  • Charging excessively for services or supplies.
  • Misusing codes on a claim, such as “upcoding” or “unbundling” codes.
  • Billing for appointments and treatment that was not provided.
  • Billing for services not furnished, supplies not provided, or both, including falsifying records to show delivery of such items.
Sexual Abuse
    • Inappropriate use of sexually loaded language.
    • Inappropriate touching.

Subjecting the elderly to sexually explicit images or acts.

Are there any additional signs of elder abuse I should look for?

  • A caregiver who is reluctant to leave you alone with an elder person.
  • A caregiver who is frequently argumentative or verbally abusive.
  • The elder becomes tense or nervous when a caregiver is present.
  • The elder displays a noticeable change in their customary behavior and/or personality such as agitation, withdrawal, etc.

Disclaimer: Web content is not legal advice. Using this website does not establish an attorney-client relationship. If you have questions about a legal matter, you should consult with an attorney who is licensed to practice law in the appropriate jurisdiction and is familiar with the facts in your situation. To learn more about how The Scott Law Firm, PLLC can assist you with a personal injury related matter, contact our office today for a free consultation: (360) 718-3640.