Elder Abuse: Know the Signs
Sometimes, the unfortunate occurs and our beloved elders are mistreated. The majority of elder abuse takes place within their own homes; be it a nursing facility or the home a relative. It can take place in assisted living facilities or hospitals. If you are suspicious that an elder is suffering from neglect, physical abuse, or is the target for financial exploitation, it’s very important that you act.
Elder abuse takes place for a variety of reasons. They may have trouble seeing, hearing, or fighting back in cases where they are taken advantage of. Those most at risk include seniors over 80, women, those suffering from dementia or other mental health issues, and elders who are secluded.
The following are warning signs that your loved one might need help:
If your loved one has a difficult time explaining injuries (cuts, bruises, sores, burns, welts, etc.), they may try to be covering for someone. Mysterious and sudden sexually transmitted diseases are also a sign that more questions should be asked.
If the person has been neglected, they will often display hygiene issues, complain of hunger or temperature, live in a state of disrepair and clutter, or have excessive bed sores. In addition, they should always have access to medical aids such as dentures, walkers, wheelchairs, hearing aids, and medication. Their home should have working plumbing and appliances for food preparation.
Signs of emotional abuse manifest in many ways. Many times when emotional abuse is occurring, the elder will isolate themselves and decline participation in things they would have once enjoyed. Oftentimes elders experiencing emotional abuse are victims of verbal aggression, or are spoken to in a demeaning and belittling way. Sometimes their care provider will refuse to allow visitors or isolates them in other ways.
If you are suspicious that your loved one has become a victim of any of these issues, the first step is to notify others. Discuss your suspicions with others close to the elder. See if they too have seen evidence. Try to make sure your loved one is as comfortable as possible in their home. If you feel that your loved one has endured a great deal of abuse, you are able to take action. Attorneys might treat your case as medical malpractice, or even as a personal injury case. Visit our website for more information on pursuing a case for your loved one.