False Elder Abuse Accusations Are All Too Common

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Dec 06, 2022 | 0 Comments

Caregivers and conservators of aging loved ones serve a vital role in elder care. Managing day-to-day healthcare, emotional support, and finances means you have a majority stake in their well-being. Such a position can be arduous and time-consuming. Still, the elder you're caring for may give you prominence in their will or trust because of your dedication to their comfort and security.

Unfortunately, other family members or close friends of the aging loved one can sometimes grow jealous of your role in their life. The amount of time spent with them, emotional bonds, and financial arrangements can fuel family grudges. It can surprisingly lead to the sad yet common scenario of being falsely accused of elder abuse.

How Does Pennsylvania Address Elder Abuse?

The Older Adults Protective Services Act (OAPSA) mandates reporting suspected abuse of aging adults under conservatorship or in official facilities. Nursing home, hospice, and other facility employees and administrators must register allegations with the Pennsylvania Department of Aging office or local law enforcement. While they work to ensure an elder is taken care of, nefarious practices can lead to you being falsely accused of abuse.

Several common types of elder abuse are:

  • Abandonment
  • Emotional abuse
  • Exploitation
  • Financial abuse
  • Neglect or endangerment
  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse

Pennsylvania's Penalties for Elder Abuse

OAPSA asserts that elder abuse may be pursued as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the crime's severity. Sanctions are severe; therefore, if you're falsely accused, it's vital to get professional help right away, so you don't have to worry about the following:

  • Misdemeanor elder abuse: Fines up to $10,000 and up to five years in jail
  • Felony elder abuse: Fines up to $25,000 and up to 20 years in jail

Facing a false accusation can be enraging, especially if you have committed to honoring a conservatorship or being a dedicated caretaker. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to protect yourself from outrageous allegations and keep your reputation intact.

False Elder Abuse Allegations Can Come in Any Situation

For allegations to be reported to OAPSA, some abuse must be suspected. Regardless of the alleged elder abuse, the accuser must establish that such abuse was intended.

For example, you may bolster an aging loved one's estate by investing money for them. However, overzealous friends or family members may allege abuse if that investment fails. You may be liable for what occurred if a corroborated history of bad financial investments is unearthed. However, even if you never intended for the negative outcome, don't think that automatically absolves you. Your actions could be misrepresented in a court trial to paint a picture inconsistent with the truth. You need an attorney to defend you from false elder abuse accusations.

How Can LLF Law Firm Help?

Caregivers and conservators spend countless hours caring for beloved elders. It's disturbing to think that you might be accused of elder abuse, yet false accusations happen often. If you're accused of elder abuse in Pennsylvania, it's essential not to face the charges alone. Our expert team at LLF Law Firm will fight to protect your rights. Call 888-535-3686 today or visit the confidential online consultation form.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento passionately fights for the futures of his clients in criminal courtrooms in Philadelphia and across Pennsylvania as well as in New Jersey and nationwide. He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and well-being. With unparalleled experience occupying several roles in the criminal justice system outside of being an attorney, Joseph D. Lento can give you valuable behind-the-scenes insight as to what is happening during all phases of the legal process. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide. In the courtroom and in life, attorney Joseph D. Lento stands up when the bell rings!


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