What are the Consequences of Elder Abuse?

March 9, 2020

Frequently perpetrated in the general community, elder abuse is commonly associated with living situations that involve nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. It is a universal concern of families who find themselves searching for a trustworthy residential home to care for a vulnerable loved one.

Elder abuse consists of abuse of a person aged 60 or older by a person entrusted to their care, such as a staff member at a nursing facility or a close family member. The types of abuse in this category may include those of a physical or sexual nature, as well as psychological and emotional abuse. Other instances of elder abuse may involve financial or material abuse, abandonment, neglect, and mistreatment or cruelty that deprive the sufferer of their dignity.

Types of Elder Abuse

Elder abuse may take the form of assault, but it can take place in many other instances. It can occur when a patient is unnecessarily restrained or overmedicated and when a patient is left without adequate care, such as when soiled clothing is left untended to or when neglect results in bedsores. Emotional abuse can involve taunting or ignoring the patient, leaving them vulnerable to depression or other negative psychological consequences.

Penalties for Elder Abuse

Many of the abuses that qualify as elder abuse are against the law regardless of the age of the victim. Still, some states have specific penalties related to crimes against elderly victims. In the same vein, crimes that are punishable on their own carry additional penalties if they are against victims over a certain age.

In New York, Granny Law considers an assault on a person over 65 to be a second-degree assault, as long as the perpetrator is a minimum of 10 years younger than the victim. A second-degree assault charge is considered a felony, which could translate to a prison sentence of two to seven years.

Federal laws also address the issue of elder abuse. Congress passed the Elder Justice Act (EJA) in 2010, which allows for the federal coordination of efforts to combat the scourge of elder abuse by putting in place mechanisms to support awareness campaigns, grant monies, adult services programs, and the National Adult Maltreatment Reporting System. The EJA explicitly states that certain individuals have an obligation to report abuses. Care facility owners, operators, and staff are subject to penalties of $200,000 to $300,000 if their failure to report abuse caused further harm to the victim or allowed for harm to befall another victim. The law also establishes penalties for retaliation against someone who does report.

Brooklyn Elder Abuse Lawyers at Korsinsky & Klein, LLP Advocate for Elder Abuse Victims and Their Families

If you were the victim of elder abuse, or you suspect that your loved one was victimized, you should contact the Brooklyn elder abuse lawyers at Korsinsky & Klein, LLP. We can help you bring charges against the abusers and ensure that justice is served. Contact us online or call us at 212-495-8133 for an initial consultation. Located in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Lakewood, New Jersey, we represent clients throughout New York and New Jersey.