The global health pandemic has many consequences beyond the COVID illness. Many people are experiencing physical, financial, and emotional impacts. One unfortunate consequence of the national and Illinois’ Stay At Home guidelines is elder abuse. In some families, members need to move in with older or disabled relatives, or elderly family members need to temporarily or have elders move in with them. Caregivers – in-home or in a facility – may be experiencing stress that they take out on elderly patients.
Elder abuse is not always physical, it can also be financial or psychological, and can manifest itself in different ways.
1. Physical Abuse
During times of high stress, physical abuse is a great danger to the vulnerable, including older adults. Physical elder abuse includes forms hitting, or hurting older adults who cannot take care of themselves, often by someone who wants to gain control of their money and other property.
2. Financial Exploitation
Elder law experts recommend being alert to family members or caregivers “scamming” the elderly out of their CARES Act stimulus payments. Older adults are often perceived as easy targets and are disproportionately targeted by scams and financial fraud.
3. Psychological Abuse
The elderly may be more vulnerable to emotional and psychological abuse during the pandemic, especially in a highly stressful “sheltering in place” environment. Emotionally hurting or neglecting an elderly person typically leaves no external scars to identify abuse is happening.
Do you have concerns about the care and rights of an elderly family member in Illinois? Our experienced elder law attorneys in Lombard Illinois understand applicable laws and advise you on the best options to protect an elderly or disabled person. Contact the Estate & Probate Legal Group at 630-800-0112.