Elder Abuse Caught on Live TV Newscast
Viewers of an Arizona-based NBC News affiliate were stunned to see an elderly woman in a wheelchair slapped in the face during a live TV newscast.
The Case at a Glance
The incident occurred on July 11 when a 12 News journalist was finishing a report about another topic. Over his right shoulder, viewers saw the victim being pushed in a wheelchair and slapped in the face by her caregiver. Irate viewers saw the incident and flooded the TV newsroom with calls and also made calls to police. The reporter noticed a nearby officer, whom he asked to assess the situation. After seeing a video of the incident, police arrested the caregiver on the spot on charges of assault. As the caregiver was being taken away by police, he yelled to the victim, “I’m going to get you!”
Epidemic of Elder Abuse
As we’ve noted in a previous blog, the National Center on Elder Abuse tells us that about 10% of older adults in the U.S. experience some form of elder abuse. Disturbingly, the agency says that only one in 14 cases of elder abuse is actually reported. Elder abuse can come in various forms, including physical and emotional abuse, sexual abuse, abandonment, and neglect.
Warning Signs of Elder Abuse
The signs listed below are not necessarily proof that abuse has occurred. Rather, they can serve as clues that abuse may be happening. Those signs include:
- Bruises, welts, black eyes, bedsores, bleeding or physical discomfort
- Fractures or wounds in various stages of healing
- Burns from cigarettes or cigars
- Rapid weight loss or other eating disorders
- Sunken eyes or cheeks
- Changes in behavior
- Quietness when caretakers are nearby
- Unpaid bills
- Emotional withdrawal
- Changes made to the patient’s will
What to Do If You Suspect Elder Abuse
If you suspect abuse of an elderly victim, you need to report it ASAP. Even if your hunch about abuse is wrong, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Here in Arizona, there are two agencies who are available 24/7 for you to report your suspicions of elder abuse.
- Adult Protective Services – 877-767-2385
- Area Agency on Aging – 602-264-4357
Call The Oswalt Law Group
If you suspect someone has been a victim of elderly abuse, compensation may be possible through personal injury lawsuits. To do this, you’ll need the skilled guidance of an experienced lawyer who thoroughly knows the elderly abuse laws of Arizona. Contact The Oswalt Law Group for a free consultation at (602) 225-2222.