Minnesota Elder Abuse is Growing Issue
The reports of elder abuse are growing as more baby boomers are aging and in need of some kind of senior care.
Many families seek care for their elderly loved ones from nursing homes, home health companies, and assisted living facilities. When they seek care from these places, they expect a certain amount of care so that they know their loved one is well taken care of.
Unfortunately, there are times when family members notice differences in their loved ones behavior and even their appearance. They may notice that their elderly loved one is losing weight, which suggests that they are not getting enough to eat for one reason or another. Other times, individuals may notice that their loved one has bruises or other signs that they are being physically abused.
So far, the highest profile elder abuse case in the state is one involving a former Maple Grove city council member. The woman was sentenced last year after being convicted of financially abusing her dying father. Although the conviction was for a misdemeanor, she is paying consequences.
Additional Example of Elder Abuse
In another case, a person was charged with withholding nutrition from a vulnerable adult. This was the first time that the charge was charged as a felony under the Minnesota law that was passed in 2012.
Attorneys that advocate for seniors and their families have been pushing for more awareness of elder abuse by working with social workers and the elder care community about what happens if a patient is not properly taken care of. This effort led to the founding of the Minnesota Elder Justice Center.
Something that has been learned through these efforts is that elder abuse is quite prevalent throughout Minneapolis and St. Paul. For instance, financial exploitation of seniors costs seniors about $3 billion per year. As the population continues to age, the numbers keep growing. There is also the fact that the current senior population managed money better and that means that there is unprecedented wealth among those 65 and over. As people live longer and need care longer, this opens them up to different types of abuse, whether it is financial or emotional.
What makes the data more disturbing is that most of the exploitation is done by family, which can make it difficult to know whether or not a senior is being taken advantage of. Family finances are usually a very private thing, which can bring up more questions than answers if one family member feels that another is taking advantage of a senior loved one. It’s easier when the one doing the exploitation or the abuse is a person who isn’t family, such as a caretaker within a facility or a home health worker.
With all of this said, it is not unusual for a Minneapolis elder abuse attorney to have a dozen or so cases sitting on their desk at once. Nonetheless, those that don’t do the right thing and end up on an attorney’s desk are in the minority because the majority does the right thing.