Amy McGarry Law Office

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Posted on

Aug 01, 2023


Florida - Southwest

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Did you know June 15th  is World Elder Abuse Awareness Day? One of the best ways to recognize World Elder Abuse Awareness Day may be to learn more about the unfortunate prevalence of elder abuse in our communities and ways it can be prevented. Let us discuss three ways to advocate for elders at risk this month. 

  1. Understand the prevalence of elder abuse. The most well-known type of elder abuse may be that which occurs in nursing homes, but elder abuse may also occur in an assisted living facility, the elder’s home, a family member’s home, or even out in the community. Just as the location of abuse varies, so do the types. Elder abuse ranges from physical abuse, to emotional abuse, to neglect and abandonment, to sexual abuse and financial abuse. The most typical victims of elder abuse may be those adults who are dependent upon others, from assisting them in their home with their activities of daily living, to a person who assists them with financial transactions. While both men and women can both fall victim to elder abuse, women can more often be the victim. Both being aware and spreading awareness that elder abuse is occurring everywhere can be a great step in identifying and preventing or stopping it.
  2. Know the signs of abuse. Signs of abuse include the older adults becoming withdrawn, such as being less talkative or not tending to their hygiene and appearance.Weight loss and agitation can be signs of stress related to the abuse. In the case of physical abuse, there may be outright signs of abuse, including unexplained cuts or bruises, broken glasses or marks from unnecessary restraint. Financial signs of abuse may present in the forms of collection notices, utilities being turned off, or even eviction, if the elder’s funds are being misappropriated or stolen.
  3. Know how to help. With all the varied possibilities of abuse, as well as the various signs of abuse, the most vital step a person who suspects abuse can take may be not to ignore it. If you see a possible sign of abuse or have a gut feeling that something seems off, take the time to look into it. This may include talking to the elder about the possibility of abuse, while also remaining aware that the elder may not feel comfortable or safe disclosing abuse. In addition to speaking to the older person about the existence of abuse, you can enlist the assistance of other friends and family members, make a report to the local adult protective services agency in your community or speak to the elder’s physician, regarding the possibility of abuse. The physician may be able to help investigate the abuse by talking with the elder and will also likely be a mandatory reporter of suspected abuse under the state laws where the elder resides.

Be sure to spread the word about World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15th and share these tips. Together we can make a positive difference in the lives of the elders in our communities.

For assistance with elder related legal issues, please get in touch with our office to schedule a time to meet.

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Local Services By This Author

Amy McGarry Law Office

Elder Law 1708 Cape Coral Parkway West, Cape Coral, Florida, 33914

Amy McGarry started her law office on April 1, 1997 in Wadsworth, Ohio.  With a newborn daughter, Amy decided to go out on her own in order to be there for her family, as well as her clients.  In 1999, Amy and her husband decided they wanted to relocate to Florida in the future.  Amy took the Florida Bar in 1999, and became licensed in Florida in fall of 1999.  In Ohio, Amy continued to represent her Ohio clients, as well as clients who were Florida snow-birds.  Then in summer of 2004, Amy, her husband, Ben and their 2 daughters, moved to southwest Florida.   The law office was opened in Cape Coral and Amy decided to focus her practice on estate planning, elder law, guardianship and probate/trust administration.  Amy then became Board Certified in Elder Law by the Florida Bar in June 2012.  Amy continues to be active in the community, and loves educating clients and other professionals about the law.  Her team has grown over the years to be here to continue to help the SW Florida community.