A Worcester elder law attorney provides help to seniors in taking steps to try to avoid elder abuse. This can include researching nursing home care options and working to try to ensure that there is insurance coverage to get high quality long term care in the home or in an institutional setting.
Avoiding elder abuse has become more important than ever, especially as the opioid crisis is fueling an epidemic of elder abuse. The Boston Globe reports on the reasons why the opioid crisis is making seniors even more vulnerable to becoming victims of abuse.
You can contact The Law Offices of James A. Miller, P.C. to talk with a Worcester elder law attorney to find out more about the problems of nursing home abuse and the steps that can be taken to try to stay safe and avoid becoming a victim.
Why the Opioid Crisis is Fueling an Epidemic of Elder Abuse
According to the Boston Globe, there has been a “surge” in reports of seniors being abused in the state of Massachusetts over the course of the last half-decade. This surge, which has been ongoing for five years, may be attributed – at least in part – to the opioid crisis sweeping the nation. The problem is, opioid addicts often exploit older relatives, including parents and other family members, putting vulnerable older people at serious risk.
The surge in reported elder abuse has been a very substantial one. Since 2011, there has been a 37 percent increase in reports of elder abuse in Massachusetts. During each of the past five years, more than 1,000 additional cases of suspected elder abuse has been reported to adult protective services offices. Reports of abuse are investigated by the Executive Office of Elder Affairs, which the Boston Globe indicates recorded close to 25,000 cases of elder abuse last year.
The problem has become so severe, that emergency medical service crews and police have been told by the office of the DA to look for unusual bruising on the wrists and forearms of seniors because these bruises can be a sign of a struggle with a physically abusive relative or caregiver. Checking to see if there is food in the fridge at the home of a senior could also be helpful in identifying whether abuse is occurring or not.
Opioid addiction could be driving this problem because many adults who become addicted to opium will end up moving back in with their elderly parents. Opioid addiction has reportedly “cut a wide path through Massachusetts,” according to the Boston Globe. Sometimes, the opioid addicts either physically or mentally abuse their parents or older relatives who they are living. In one case, for example, a bed-bound older woman was frequently terrified when plaster fell down upon her head because her opioid-addicted adult son would go into a rage and shoot a gun into the ceiling above where she was trapped in her bed.
In many cases, addicts will also financially abuse their senior relatives, taking pension and Social Security taxes and spending this money on opioids. In just a one month period leading up to May 13, the office of the Middlesex District Attorney handled 10 cases in which grandchildren stole and pawned money, silver and jewelry from their grandparents in order to purchase drugs.
Physical, emotional and financial abuse can all have a devastating impact on a senior, especially if abusers are opioid addicted family members or caregivers who may not even be aware of their actions or of the implications that their behavior can have on a vulnerable older person.
Getting Help from A Worcester Elder Law Attorney
If you are getting older or are concerned you could need long term care help some day, you should talk with a Worcester elder law attorney today to find out what options you have available for making a care plan to avoid abuse. The Law Offices of James A. Miller, P.C. has helped many seniors to make advanced plans to obtain and pay for high-quality long term care that provides the best possible quality of life.
To find out more about the way in which our firm can help you, join us for a free seminar. You can also give us a call at 866-370-3888 or contact us online to talk with a member of our legal team about the creation of a personalized care plan that reduces your risk of suffering abuse at the hands of a caregiver. Call now to put your plan in place.
Latest posts by Attorney Jim Miller (see all)
- Boston Startups Are Serving the Elderly Population - August 31, 2017
- What is Custodial Care and Why Does it Matter? - August 29, 2017
- Do You Need Asset Protection Attorneys If You’re Not Very Wealthy? - August 24, 2017