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Elder Abuse Hurts Families

Cycles of abuse in families are very hard to end. These cycles often include several levels, from child abuse to elder abuse when the children are adults and must care for their aging parents. Elder abuse is very often the result of an adult child having to care for the parent or parents who abused them. Sadly, abuse is ingrained in some families after generations of this continuing cycle.

There are multiple ways the cycle of abuse manifests in individual families. But what usually happens to a child in childhood will carry over into how that person treats his or her aging parent in adulthood. If the elder once hit the child, constantly belittled them, told them they would fail in life or otherwise abused them, the same may be expected of the adult who was abused in the treatment of their parent, as that parent becomes more vulnerable in age.

The Child Welfare Information Gateway has reported that about one-third of children who are abused grow up to repeat their parents’ actions on their own children. This is why social service agencies are working hard to educate the public about this multi-generational cycle and the need to break it. Likewise, elder abuse attorneys who specialize in elder abuse law in their personal injury law practices want to see an end to this cyclical violence.

The cycle of abuse in families is very difficult to break. When an abused child grows up and is responsible for the aging parent who once abused them, many problems can result. Elder abuse frequently stems from an abused child who is then forced to bear the responsibility for the parent. Elder abuse is something every family should watch for, but particularly if there is a cycle of abuse in the family.

Beyond the Elder Abuse, Other Problems

Abused children who grow up and take responsibility for the care of their aging parents often suffer from depression. In this depression and because of their family history, they are more likely to abuse the elders. It becomes even more important to stop the cycle of abuse in these families, as multiple generations are caught in the struggle.

Because these vulnerable senior citizens need protection, the government has developed an agency that focuses on these issues. Adult Protective Services is that agency. Much like Child Protective Services, this agency works to educate families, bring awareness of the signs of abuse and stops abuse when it is determined to be present in a family. That abuse is usually stopped by bringing charges against those enacting the violence, finding a safe place for the elder, or other measures.

Legislation Is Slow to Help Stop Elder Abuse

Congress passed the Elder Justice Act in 2010. The Act was signed by President Obama with intent to provide support, educational programs and other means of preventing elder abuse. Sadly, that Act was not funded by congress until 2015. Congress appropriated $4 million for a new Elder Justice Initiative in 2015 and $8 million in 2016.  But most of the other Act provisions that were authorized for fund appropriation expired in September 2014.

By the government, Elder Justice is defined “as from a societal perspective, as efforts to (1) prevent, detect, treat, intervene in, and prosecute elder abuse, neglect, and exploitation; and (2) protect elders with diminished capacity while maximizing their autonomy.” From an individual perspective, Elder Justice is defined as, “The recognition of an elder’s rights, including the right to be free of abuse, neglect, and exploitation.

Phoenix personal injury lawyers work hard to ensure elders are protected from the abuse, particularly by helping them to gain recovery for the economic damages suffered as part of their abuse. These damages may include medical treatment costs, property costs and other damages resulting from the abuse. Pursuing these funds through the civil courts can help the loved ones of abused elders find adequate care for their family member who deserves to live comfortably with life’s necessities and without the threat of reality of abuse.

Legal Help for Elder Abuse

If you have a loved one who is suffering after experiencing elder abuse, it is important that you help your aging family member gains recovery for the damages they have suffered. Through an elder abuse personal injury claim, the person found liable in the abusive acts can be taken to court as a defendant in a lawsuit. Whether this lawsuit is settled out of court or goes through the trial process, it can provide monies for your elder loved one to recover from his or her damages.

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