Elder Abuse: How to Prove It and How Private Criminal Investigation Can Help
Feb. 7, 2019
Nothing is more frustrating than knowing a loved one needs help, but not knowing how to help or what to do. Especially when that loved one is an elderly relative or friend. According to the National Council on Aging, it is estimated that as many as 1 in 10 Americans over 60 have experienced abuse of some form, but only 1 in 14 cases are ever reported to authorities. Of the cases reported, even fewer can be proven due to insufficient evidence. This leaves a terrifyingly large demographic grossly under-protected and vulnerable.
What is Edler Abuse?
Part of the issue is that oftentimes individuals don’t recognize elder abuse for what it is. It presents in many forms including Physical, Sexual, and Emotional Abuse, Financial Exploitation, Passive Neglect, Confinement, and Willful Deprivation. Another element is the embarrassment a victim may feel in having been taken advantage of or the simple fact that perhaps they live alone or are too incapacitated to share their troubles. Our police and legal agencies are overloaded and although they do their very best, the hard truth is there simply aren’t enough resources to investigate every concern without some sort of preliminary evidence. For these reasons, it can be hard to prove what is going on and even harder to do something about it. A criminal investigation performed by a licensed professional private investigator can go a long way in uncovering elder abuse or providing peace of mind that your loved one is safe.
How Do You Prove It?
This is where a private criminal investigation can help you. By utilizing an investigator’s skills and various tools and methods, they can not only help prove or disprove suspected elder abuse but can also help on the legal end. A licensed investigator will have the ability to run a thorough background check on caregivers or suspicious “friends”. They will also do extensive asset searches to look for newly attained property or accounts, and check employment history of these individuals. In addition, good old-fashioned surveillance can provide invaluable information that cannot be obtained any other way. A criminal investigation may also include thorough interviews with neighbors, friends, previous or current patients and their families, and the caregivers themselves. All of this will be done in a way that will not alert others as to the investigation that is in process, thereby ensuring any evidence that can be uncovered will be.
Having good solid evidence in hand can make the difference between legally helping a loved one or not. Not only can a criminal investigation help with this, but the private investigator will also provide a well-written report and serve as a credible witness in court. With an increasing number of individuals entering the 65 and over demographic, elder abuse is only becoming more of a concern. Securing the services of a seasoned and professional firm to perform a criminal investigation can provide positive results if you or someone you know is facing this epidemic.