As the population ages, the incidence of elder abuse continues to be a pressing concern. Elder abuse can take various forms, including physical, emotional, financial, and neglectful acts against older adults. At Kellum Law Firm, we are committed to taking to task care home and elder care facilities in North Carolina who are negligent in their care of our elderly folks. In this article, we explore the detection and prosecution of elder abuse, particularly in elder care facilities, and shed light on the different terms used to describe these facilities and their distinctions.

Please watch our 3-minute video on elder abuse or scroll down to read the full article:

Detection of Elder Abuse And The Types Of Abuse

Detecting elder abuse is often challenging, as victims may be unable or unwilling to report mistreatment themselves. Family members, caregivers, healthcare elder abuse attorneysprofessionals, and concerned individuals play a critical role in identifying and reporting elder abuse to protect vulnerable adults from harm. Here, we delve deeper into the signs and symptoms of elder abuse across various forms and explore the proactive steps individuals can take to recognize and address potential instances of mistreatment.

Physical Abuse:

Physical abuse involves the use of force, violence, or neglect resulting in bodily harm, injury, or pain to an older adult. Signs of physical abuse may include unexplained bruises, fractures, burns, abrasions, or restraint marks. Victims of physical abuse may also exhibit fearfulness, withdrawal, or reluctance to discuss their injuries. It’s essential to take note of any sudden or unexplained changes in an older adult’s physical well-being and behavior, as these could indicate potential abuse.

Emotional Abuse:

Emotional abuse encompasses verbal or non-verbal behaviors that inflict psychological harm, distress, or anguish on an older adult. Examples of emotional abuse may include threats, intimidation, insults, humiliation, or isolation from social interactions. Victims of emotional abuse may display symptoms such as anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, or unexplained changes in mood or behavior. Caregivers and family members should pay attention to subtle cues indicating emotional distress and take appropriate action to address the underlying issues.

Financial Exploitation:

Financial exploitation of elders involves the unauthorized or improper use of an older adult’s funds, assets, or property for personal gain or financial advantage. Signs of financial exploitation may include sudden changes in financial circumstances, unexplained withdrawals or transfers of money, missing valuables, or forged signatures on financial documents. Older adults who are cognitively impaired or isolated may be particularly vulnerable to financial exploitation, making it crucial for family members to monitor their loved one’s financial transactions and report any suspicious activity.


Neglect occurs when a caregiver or responsible party fails to provide adequate care, supervision, or assistance to meet an older adult’s basic needs for food, Nursing Home Abuse and Elder Abuseshelter, hygiene, or medical care. Signs of neglect may include malnutrition, dehydration, poor hygiene, untreated medical conditions, or unsafe living conditions. Older adults who are neglected may appear unkempt, malnourished, or in deteriorating health. Family members and caregivers should regularly assess the living conditions and care provided to older adults and intervene if neglect is suspected.

Sexual Abuse:

Sexual abuse involves non-consensual sexual contact, coercion, or exploitation of an older adult for the perpetrator’s gratification. Signs of sexual abuse may include unexplained injuries to the genitals or breasts, sexually transmitted infections, or changes in behavior related to sexual activity. Victims of sexual abuse may exhibit fear, anxiety, or withdrawal from social interactions. It’s essential to create a safe environment for older adults to disclose any experiences of sexual abuse and provide them with the necessary support and resources.

Prosecution of Elder Care Facilities

When elder abuse occurs within elder care facilities, such as nursing homes, assisted living facilities, or adult daycares, holding these institutions accountable is crucial. Legal action against negligent or abusive facilities can help seek justice for victims, prevent further harm to residents, and promote systemic improvements in elder care standards. Our experienced team of elder abuse attorneys at Kellum Law Firm is dedicated to advocating for the rights of elder abuse victims and pursuing legal recourse against negligent facilities.

Glossary of Terms for Elder Care Facilitieselder abuse lawyers prosecute elder abuse and financial abuse of elders

Elder care facilities come in various forms, each catering to different levels of care and assistance for older adults. Understanding the distinctions between these facilities is essential for families seeking appropriate care for their loved ones:

  1. Nursing Homes: Nursing homes provide round-the-clock medical care and supervision for seniors with significant healthcare needs, including chronic illnesses or disabilities.
  2. Assisted Living Facilities: Assisted living facilities offer a more independent living environment for seniors who require assistance with daily tasks, such as bathing, dressing, and medication management, but do not need constant medical supervision.
  3. Adult Daycares: Adult daycares provide daytime supervision and social activities for older adults who may require companionship or assistance while their primary caregivers are at work or otherwise occupied.
  4. Memory Care Facilities: Memory care facilities specialize in caring for individuals with Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, or other cognitive impairments, providing specialized programs and secure environments tailored to their unique needs.
  5. Continuing Care Retirement Communities (CCRCs): CCRCs offer a continuum of care, allowing seniors to transition seamlessly between independent living, assisted living, and skilled nursing care as their needs change over time.

By familiarizing themselves with these terms and their distinctions, families can make informed decisions about the type of care that best suits their loved one’s needs and preferences.

Elder abuse remains a significant challenge in and around the state of North Carolina, but with proactive detection, legal advocacy, and informed decision-making regarding elder care options, we can work together to safeguard vulnerable adults and ensure they receive the respect, dignity, and protection they deserve. At Kellum Law Firm, we are dedicated to fighting for justice and accountability in cases of elder abuse, and we stand ready to assist those in need of legal guidance and representation, and also those dealing with issues concerning guardianship of elderly relatives.“We’re With You All The Way”

Contact Kellum Law Firm