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What Is Adult Foster Care and How to Spot Elder Abuse

Young carer giving helping hands for the elderly woman

The elderly are some of the most fragile members of our society, and the ones most in need of care. Unfortunately, their vulnerability also makes them prime targets for abuse. Too often, this abuse occurs at the hands of those who are directly responsible for their care.

Every year, more than half a million instances of abuse against elderly Americans are reported to the authorities. For every reported case, countless other instances go unreported, largely due to fear of retaliation from the abuser. If you suspect that a loved one is the victim of elder abuse, or if you’re being abused yourself, it’s important to speak to an attorney as soon as possible. At the Law Offices of Andrew Ritholz, we provide compassionate legal representation in all stages of elder care abuse cases.

Adult Foster Care

Although they go by varying names, including Adult Residential Facilities or Residential Care Facilities for the Elderly, adult foster care facilities are intended to provide care for adults and seniors who are not capable of caring for themselves. These facilities offer varying degrees of assistance to their residents, and can range from shared facilities to private quarters.

The main purpose of adult foster care is to have caregivers on-hand whenever needs arise. These caregivers have intimate and direct access to the facilities’ residents, many of whom suffer from mental or physical infirmities that put them at the caregivers’ mercy. Unfortunately, some of these caretakers use this reliance to take advantage of the elderly, subjecting them physical and emotional abuse or financial exploitation.

How to Identify Elder Abuse

Elder abuse can take many forms. Some of the most common include:

  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Verbal and non-verbal psychological abuse
  • Abandonment or neglect
  • Financial exploitation
  • Healthcare fraud or abuse

Elder abuse in an adult foster care setting can be difficult to prevent. The important thing is to be able to recognize the potential signs and symptoms of elder abuse when they’re present.

Too often, evidence of elder abuse is written of as symptoms of the dementia or fragility that can come with aging. If you have loved ones in adult foster care, you should be particularly attuned to unexplained injuries, ranging from minor scrapes and bruises to broken bones.

Irrational or newly formed senses of fear, secrecy, or paranoia can be signs of emotional and psychological abuse. With respect to detecting financial exploitation, you should periodically ask to review your loved one’s bills and financial statements to ensure that everything seems in order.

How An Experienced Elder Abuse Attorney Can Help

The most important thing to do if you suspect elder abuse is to speak up. Victims are often too afraid to speak up for themselves, and your willingness to do so can make all the difference.

If you are a victim of elder abuse, or you fear that an elderly loved one is being mistreated in adult foster care, it’s crucial to contact an experienced elder abuse attorney immediately. The Law Offices of Andrew Ritholz has over 30 years experience protecting the rights of abuse and neglect victims and will fight to get you the justice you deserve. Contact us today for a FREE consultation by completing the form at the right or calling (877) 261-9322.

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