The Subtleties Reveal the Big Picture: 5 Symptoms to Be on the Lookout for If You Want to Save Your Elders from Abuse

We can’t always keep an eye on our elderly loved ones. Sometimes we leave them in the care of other relatives or take them to a nursing home. We hope that they will receive the best of care but sometimes they don’t. Sometimes they are neglected or physically, sexually, psychologically or even financially abused. Statistics from nationalhomeabuseguide.org show that in excess of 40 percent of nursing home residents have reported abuse.

If an elderly relative reports abuse, you should consult an attorney who handles elderly abuse claims . However, like many victims, elderly people are often reluctant to speak up. That’s why you need to know the signs of abuse so you can get help for your relative when necessary. Let’s go into more detail about the varying types of elder abuse and their signs.

Physical abuse

Physical abuse involves any behavior that causes bodily harm. It includes kicking, hitting or burning the individual or tying them to their bed or wheelchair. If your elderly loved one has been physically abused, you may notice visible injuries. You should look out for burns, cuts or unexplained bleeding, sprains or fractures and recurring injuries. The individual may refuse to see a doctor about these issues.

Sexual abuse

Sexual abuse refers to unwanted sexual contact with another person. The perpetrator can be a nursing home worker, visitor or even another patient. It includes inappropriate touching, rape and forcing the elderly person to watch pornography. You should look out for torn or bloody underwear, bruising around the genitals, sexually transmitted diseases and bleeding from the vagina or anus.

Psychological abuse

Psychological abuse hurts an individual emotionally. It may occur along with physical abuse. It involves threats, yelling or calling the person names. It can also include ignoring the individual, controlling them or withholding their personal items. The symptoms of psychological abuse may include withdrawal or fright, sudden changes in behavior, depression, loss of interest and trouble sleeping.

Financial abuse

Financial abuse involves misuse of the individual’s money or property. It includes forging their signature, using their credit or debit cards without their permission or forcing them to change their will. Over-charging for a service or charging for a service which wasn’t rendered is also considered financial abuse. Signs include unexplained withdrawals from a bank account, a new friend who the individual seems to be giving money, signatures that seem to be forged and sudden changes in wills or power of attorney.

Neglect

Neglect is when a caregiver doesn’t take care of an older person’s needs. They may not give them enough food or water. They may not ensure they are warm, dry and taking their medication. Abandoning an elderly individual completely is also considered neglect. Symptoms include dirty clothing and matted hair, an illness that isn’t treated, sudden weight loss and inadequate aids likes glasses, dentures or hearing aids.

If you notice any of these signs, ask your elderly relative gently if anything is wrong. Consult an attorney who handles elder abuse or call Adult Protective Services . You can’t change what has already happened but you can protect them from future abuse.

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