Q: What can happen to someone if they mistreat the elderly?
A: The answer depends on what type of mistreat you mean, who is conducting the mistreatment, and whether you can prove there is actual mistreatment. If there is physical abuse, or someone is endangering an elderly person's health or well-being, or someone is taking advantage of an elderly person's finances, then there may be criminal laws that apply (such as battery and assault, theft, etc.). There may also be a claim under a civil suit for negligence. In addition, if the mistreatment is due to the actions or negligence of licensed professionals or a licensed organization (such as a certified nursing assistant, a nurse, a hospital, a nursing home, a financial planner, etc.), then there is probably a State agency where complaints can be filed against the licensed professional or organization.
Your question can be very complicated and is very fact-specific, so if you believe that an elderly person you know is being mistreated, then you should consult with a local attorney that practices in the area where the elderly person lives or there may be a State or county agency that investigates elder abuse.
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