Approximately 1 in 10 elderly Americans has experienced some form of abuse. Elder abuse is sometimes hard to identify and for that reason, it can go unnoticed or even worse, get swept under the rug. That is why it essential to know the signs of elder abuse so you can protect your loved ones from ever experiencing it.
This simple guide outlines the top 3 signs of elder abuse you need to be aware of and look out for. Let’s take a look.
What Is Elder Abuse
Elder abuse is the emotional, mental, or physical abuse that is afflicted on a person over the age of 60. As people age, it is more likely that they will be in the care of another person or multiple people. Because they are under the care of others, the chances of them experiencing neglect or abuse are higher.
This abuse can happen in their home, assisted living facilities, a nursing home, etc. In many cases, the elderly are ashamed or embarrassed and do not report the abuse to anyone. As a family member, staying diligent and paying close attention to your loved one could help prevent ongoing abuse.
Let’s explore the signs.
1. Physical Signs
Physical abuse causes bodily harm to the person. In cases of elder abuse, physical abuse can take place in traumatic ways such as a caregiver hitting or shoving the person or even tying them down to a wheelchair or bed at night.
The physical abuse signs can include broken bones or bruises, sprains, cuts or contusions, etc. In most cases, the elderly will not report the abuse and sometimes they will refuse treatment for fear of getting further abuse. Also, physical abuse can include sexual abuse of an elderly person.
Signs of sexual abuse can include testing positive for sexually transmitted diseases, bruising around the genitals, and bleeding. These signs should never be overlooked and should always be taken seriously.
2. Emotional Signs
Emotional abuse can come in many forms such as name-calling, threats, and control. A caregiver might try to manipulate the elderly by psychologically tormenting the patient. If a loved one is suffering from emotional abuse they might behave in the following ways:
- Withdrawal from family or activities they once enjoyed
- Have trouble sleeping
- Appear frightened
- Appear confused
- Suffer from depression
These are a few signs that psychological abuse is occurring. Sometimes the elderly might not be aware that the caregiver’s behavior is abuse so they tolerate the behavior and do not report the problem.
3. Signs of Neglect
The elderly often need help with daily tasks such as using the restroom and bathing. Neglect can happen over an extended period of time when a caregiver does not provide the assistance the elderly person needs. Signs of neglect include bedsores, the person being unclean or messy, a sudden loss of weight, and missing essentials like eyeglasses.
This form of abuse can be very dangerous to the elderly as they can not perform certain tasks on their own. Without proper care and help with hygiene, they can develop infections that could lead to death. Berberian Ain LLP can help those who are concerned that a loved one is experiencing abuse.
Taking Action Today
If you fear that your loved one is suffering elder abuse from their caregiver you must take action immediately. The elderly need advocates to support them and protect them from abuse of all kinds. Remember to always be vigilant and maintain communication with your loved one and their caregivers regularly.
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