Elder Abuse—What Does This Mean in Nevada?
Elder abuse is the shorthand term for an extensive Nevada law that covers the much broader categories of neglect, abuse, isolation or exploitation of vulnerable or elderly people.
Nevada law defines an elderly person as someone age 60 or older. Vulnerable people are those 18 years old or older who are either physically or mentally incapacitated because of a disability, or whose ability to perform normal daily activities is restricted because of their physical or mental limitations.
Violations of this law protecting the elderly and vulnerable falls into the following categories:
- Neglect ― This offense occurs when a person who is legally or contractually oblicriminaged, or who volunteered, to care for an elder or vulnerable person and fails to do so.
- Abuse ― This offense involves the act of deliberately inflicting pain, injury or mental anguish on an elder or vulnerable person, or depriving them of food, shelter, clothing or services needed to maintain their physical or mental health.
- Isolation ― This offense occurs when a caregiver willfully, maliciously and intentionally prevents an elder or vulnerable person from having contact with another person.
- Exploitation ― This offense involves seizure of the assets of an elderly or vulnerable person by someone they trusted or had a fiduciary relationship with by means of deception, intimidation, or undue influence with the intent to permanently deprive them of their assets.
Defenses to elder abuse charges
People often mistake accidental injuries or certain actions for elder abuse, and you may suddenly find social services and law enforcement members calling you in for questioning. An elder’s fall on a loose rug may leave a bruise that is misinterpreted as physical abuse. A caretaker’s permitted use of an elder’s credit card to buy gas in order to run necessary errands for the elder might be misconstrued as financial exploitation. If you are questioned by law enforcement officers or social workers, ask for an attorney, and then contact Washoe County’s reliable and skillful criminal defense attorney.