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Elder Abuse in Native American Communities

Elder abuse in Native American communities, at least in some respects, does not differ from elder abuse in other communities. Physical abuse, sexual abuse, financial exploitation, neglect or abandonment, and spiritual abuse all can occur in Native American communities. While readers may be familiar with most of these types of abuse, spiritual abuse may be more prevalent in Native American communities than in other communities. Spiritual abuse can occur when caregivers do not take elder individuals to spiritual ceremonies or take away elders’ ceremonial items.

Native American communities often have elder abuse codes, or protection acts, that address elder abuse in their tribes. In the state of Wisconsin, for instance, the Ho-Chunk Nation Code contains the Elder Protection Act of 2001, which addresses elder abuse, neglect, self-neglect, and exploitation. Among other things, the Act addresses the duty of various individuals to report elder abuse and neglect. The Ho-Chunk Nation has its own elder protection workers, who perform investigations and files them with the CFS Elder Protection Program. If a report is substantiated, then it may be forwarded to the Ho-Chunk Nation Department of Justice (DOJ) for legal action. Essentially, the Elder Protection Act of 2001 sets forth an institutional framework for assisting elders who are suffering from abuse or neglect.

There are different types of abuse or neglect that can occur to residents in nursing homes, residential care facilities, and private homes, whether individuals are Native American or not. The Wisconsin elder abuse lawyers of Boller & Vaughan have handled countless claims on behalf of nursing home residents who have suffered serious injuries and even death due to the negligent behavior of nursing home staff and facilities, regardless of the type of abuse or neglect involved. When a serious injury or death of a loved one occurs, we know just how devastating it can be, and how powerless you are likely to feel as a result. Allow your family to begin the healing process from this traumatic event by holding the wrongdoers responsible for your loved one’s injuries. Contact our office today and set up a free consultation with one of our experienced nursing home abuse attorneys.