Taking on the responsibility of caring for an elderly family member is a noble and generous act. Caregivers typically have many other responsibilities of their own, like working a full-time job, caring for children, and dealing with all the day-to-day stresses of life. These factors all compound the shock and hurt you may feel if you, the caregiver, are falsely accused of elder abuse.
How Could I Be Accused of Elder Abuse?
There are several circumstances in which a person might be accused of elder abuse. The first is the scenario just outlined. Perhaps you are the child or other family member of an elderly person in need of care, and you agree to take on responsibility for caring for that person. That could mean that the elder is living in the same home with you or that you go to their home to check in, provide meals, and such.
You might also be caring for the elderly in a professional capacity, like working in a nursing home or as a home health care provider. In either case, accusations of elder abuse could come from the allegedly abused person themselves, or the accusations could be made by a family member or other staff member who suspects abuse.
What Is Elder Abuse?
In New Jersey, elder abuse encompasses several things. It can include obvious physical abuse – causing injury to a person – but it can also include less obvious forms of abuse, such as neglect. If you have taken on the responsibility of caring for an elder in either a personal or professional capacity and you fail to provide them with their basic needs like food, shelter, or health care, then you can be charged with elder abuse. Abandonment, which is, as the name implies, abandoning an elder for whom you have accepted responsibility and leaving them without care, is also elder abuse.
Elder abuse can also be financial. The elderly are particularly vulnerable to financial exploitation due to cognitive decline. Financial exploitation can include stealing directly from the person, influencing them to make transactions or sign over property, or concealing funds.
What Should I Do if I am Falsely Accused of Elder Abuse?
Elder abuse is a serious crime with major consequences. If you have never been accused of a crime before, you probably don't know what to do or what to expect. If you are falsely accused of elder abuse, you should contact an attorney immediately. Let your attorney handle the situation. Don't post on social media about the allegations; even if you are just trying to defend yourself and protect your reputation, posting on social media creates a record of evidence that can be used against you.
Attorney Joseph Lento is an expert on handling elder abuse allegations, and he will defend you against false accusations. Call 888-535-3686 or go online to schedule a consultation right away. The Lento Law Firm will ensure that you receive an excellent defense and the opportunity to prove that the claims made against you are false.