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.

Protecting the Elderly: 4 Types of Nursing Home Abuse and How to Spot It

The statistics on nursing home abuse in the US are alarming. According to nationalhomeabuseguide.org, in excess of 40 percent of nursing home residents have reported abuse. Research from 2010 shows that up to half of all nursing home workers admitted to abusing or neglecting patients. It must be noted that not every case gets reported.

According to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), elder abuse is “any abuse and neglect of persons age 60 and older by a caregiver or another person in a relationship involving an expectation of trust.” Experts, such as this attorney, will tell you to seek legal help if you believe a loved one has been a victim of nursing home abuse.

This article will describe four types of elder abuse: physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional/psychological abuse and neglect. By the end, you’ll know the signs of each type and what you should do if you suspect any kind of abuse.

Physical abuse

This is when elderly patients suffer physical injury, pain or impairment because of bad treatment or neglect. This type of abuse is common and it can lead to life-threatening injuries. Nursing home patients may even die. The abuser is believed to be most often a nursing home employee. However, sometimes it’s a visitor or even another resident. Physical abuse can be active such as hitting or kicking but it can also include injuries caused by neglect and improper use of restraints. Signs include unexplained injuries, bruises, malnutrition, and dehydration.

Sexual abuse

This is unwanted physical and sexual contact with an elderly person. It includes sexual contact with a patient who is disoriented or otherwise unable to give consent. Women are more likely to become victims of elder sexual abuse. This type of abuse includes sexual assault and battery, rape, forced nudity and sexual photography. Signs include STDs and infections, bruises in the genital area or breasts, vaginal bleeding, anxiety, and fear around the caregiver.

Emotional abuse

This is the most difficult type of abuse to measure or prove. It doesn’t leave physical evidence and may not always be witnessed. Emotional abuse is when someone acts in a way that causes an elderly person emotional pain and suffering. It can be both verbal and non-verbal and includes yelling, making threats, withdrawing affection and taking away personal items. Patients treated in this way may become fearful or withdrawn or experience changes in behavior.

Neglect

This is negligence on the part of the nursing home to give proper care. Examples include isolation, malnutrition, falls and improper medication management. Family members who visit the nursing home will likely see the signs. They include an unclean or unsafe environment, sudden weight loss and bruising. You may also see a staff member who appears discontent or disinterested.

What to do when you suspect abuse

One of the reasons abuse often goes unreported is that loved ones don’t know what to do when they suspect something is wrong. One option is to visit the National Center on Elder Abuse site for information on who should be contacted in your state. You can talk to your loved one’s doctor or find out if there’s a social worker assigned to your area. Don’t be afraid to call 911 if the situation is urgent and you believe the elderly person’s life is in danger. Once you have made a report, contact a personal injury attorney about you should proceed.

A Medical Emergency Cannot Be Postponed: Can a Personal Loan Cover Medical Expenses?

Emergencies happen when we least expect them and often when we can least afford them. Medical emergencies are often costly to deal with. If you’re not prepared they can leave you struggling to make ends meet for some time. In fact, some people end up going bankrupt because of serious ailments. Even if you have insurance, you may still be left holding some costs. Many people opt for personal loans to help them meet the costs of poor health. This is an option but it’s certainly not the only thing you can do. Let’s discuss loans in greater detail and look at some alternatives.

Pros and cons of personal loans

Personal loans are unsecured so you don’t need any collateral to apply for one. They can cover a variety of needs and the interest rate is usually lower than that on credit cards. If you’ve had good credit before your emergency, you can reach out to your bank or usual lender for assistance. If you have bad credit, many institutions will either deny your loan or offer you a very high interest rate. You should also avoid high-interest payday loans. These can make your financial situation even worse. Some lenders do offer people with bad credit the same terms as those with good credit. You will be able to apply, get approved today and have your cash in a couple days or even hours.

Check your medical bills carefully

If you’ve been handed a bill with a long list of charges, you may not look at each item carefully. You may just look at the total and become overwhelmed. You should examine each line item carefully to ensure you do in fact owe that amount for that service. Don’t be afraid to query things that don’t look right. If you were overcharged or charged for a service you didn’t receive, taking this off the bill may make your payment more manageable than you anticipated.

Ask your doctor about a payment plan

Doctors and medical centers understand that healthcare costs are high. They may be willing to work out a reasonable payment plan with you. Work out what you can afford and see if they are willing to accept it. If they do, make sure you get an agreement in writing so problems don’t arise later on. Your doctor may or may not accept a payment plan but there’s only one way to find out.

Ask family and friends for help

It can be hard to ask those who are close to us for assistance. We often don’t want them to know how bad things are. However, sometimes they would rush to help if they only knew. Be considerate of their own financial situation and expenses but ask for help. Several relatives may be able to contribute a little which adds up to a lot. They may also be able to help indirectly. They may offer to bring you meals so you don’t spend as much on groceries. They may offer childcare services so you don’t have to pay a sitter. Relatives may also reduce your taxi expenses by driving you to doctor’s appointments. Ask them.

Personal loans can help you to meet the expenses of a medical emergency. You just need to be careful. Ensure you’re not saddled with interest payments that you won’t be able to meet. You all need to make you’re being billed correctly. Don’t forget, you can ask your doctor for a payment plan and ask your loved ones to help.

Comfort and Quality: 5 Mattress Styles To Suit Your Sleeping Needs

Given that we spend about one third of our lives in bed, does it not make sense to ensure that we get a good night’s sleep? The mattress you use is directly correlated with your good health. If it’s beginning to show signs of aging (especially if it’s over 10 years old), it might be a good idea to get it replaced. But with so many mattress styles available, how do you know which ones are the best?

Since everyone has a different body type and unique preferences, there’s no universal answer. However, by informing yourself about what’s out there, you’ll be in a much better position to pick a mattress that is likely to stay with you for the next decade (full of good rest and pleasant dreams).

With that in mind, what are the top 5 mattress styles to consider?

Image courtesy of yingyo / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

1 Waterbed

Back in the 70s and 80s, waterbeds became increasingly popular. Nowadays, they are much less so, but many people are still in love with the floaty feeling you can only get with one of these.

Those who crave having a lot of options at their disposal will find it very pleasing that there are many waterbed designs to choose from, and your choice pretty much boils down to either soft-sided or hard-sided ones. If you cannot get enough of how exciting it feels to be floating on water, you can get a free flow chamber system, allowing for an unobstructed moving of liquids within. On the other hand, if you’d like to get something a little bit more laid back, a waveless model is designed to limit how freely they move around, allowing for a much different type of experience.

The great thing in general about waterbeds is that they are on the affordable side of the scale. Even if you want to go dirt-cheap, there’s still a waterbed you could find under $100. As for the cons, these mattresses aren’t exactly the most durable kind, as they are prone to developing a leak over time. Therefore, regularly checking the state of your waterbed is essential.

2  Innerspring

Innerspring mattresses are one of the oldest mattress styles that are still around today. First invented almost two centuries ago, the modern models are much of an upgrade to the old ones, which is quite noticeable in terms of comfort they provide.

When it comes to innerspring mattresses, there are plenty of ways of customizing your experience, mostly having to do with how the inner coils are designed to fit; they can either be individually wrapped or connected. The former have the benefit of not being as bouncy, while the latter are very much so. Depending on your preferences and needs, you might want to shoot for either the one or another, but both of these will surely make you as comfortable as possible.

One last thing to keep in mind is that the more coils there are in the mattress, the greater level of support it can provide. Many people like innerspring mattresses for how incredibly affordable they are, and you can always count on getting something great for $100. The downside, however, is the fact that it’s not uncommon to see them collecting dust, mold, and bed bugs, so people with allergies may not be so fond of them.

3  Latex

First coming about nearly a century ago, latex mattresses used to be a luxury not many were able to afford. The reason behind it is that the production costs tend to be rather high because of the materials used. Even though they’re much more affordable than they once were, they are still considered to be a high-end mattress option.

Do you consider yourself to be environmentally conscious? Then you are bound to love them! Latex is a very environmentally-friendly material, so that’s obviously a big plus. In case you’ve experienced pain and have generally been uncomfortable trying to sleep on other types of mattresses before, this one will be a welcome breath of fresh air. As such, latex mattresses are quite popular among those who suffer from lower back pain.

Also, if your significant other rolls around in bed often, these mattresses are designed to make it much less likely you’re going to get bothered by it, since they suppress motion.

4  Memory foam

Not many people know this, but memory foam was originally invented by NASA. Originally, it was intended to provide better crash protection for airplane passengers, but nowadays, it’s used as a comfortable bed padding.

One of its distinct advantages is how well it adjusts to the unique proportions of your body. This is because the foam is designed to react to body heat, so in a way, it can be said it ‘knows’ where the body is, allowing it to adjust properly. It’s very popular among those who are pestered with joint pain; since the weight of the body is evenly supported, you won’t experience similar problems with this type of mattresses.

Those who have been using it for a long time praise it for how warm it is, which could be very beneficial if you live in the colder parts of the world. It’s also very resistant to allergens. However, please keep in mind that according to www.mattress-guides.net, memory foam is not the cheapest option out there.

5  Hybrid

Hybrid mattresses are a combination of memory foam and innerspring technology, making them the best of both worlds and allowing them to provide great support, comfort, and durability.

Since these don’t have as much motion transfer, you can expect to have a restful sleep without experiencing constant awakenings at night. Still, there’s a little bit of bounciness to them. As you can probably tell, the foam surface is absolutely fantastic at deterring mold, dust, and other allergens, so they’re a great choice for those who are sensitive to them.

The only downside is that hybrid mattresses are one of the most expensive ones by far. Expect to pay around $2,000 for a piece.

Conclusion

By now, you should have plenty ideas about the type of mattresses to try out next. The next step is to laster-focus on a particular few models and read some reviews online to narrow down your final list of mattress styles a bit more. Are you excited to bring your sleeping experience to new heights?

Protecting Your Family:  What Constitutes Elder Abuse and How You Can Help be Proactive in a Case

Elder abuse takes place more often than what many people imagine. In essence, this is far more than just abuse – it’s an issue of misplaced trust and heartbreak. Due to their declining health, the elderly are more vulnerable to being taken advantage of, so it’s important to keep a watchful eye on them to ensure that everything is all right. The following strategies will enable you to watch for signs of abuse as well as play an active role in elder abuse prevention:

Monitor their mental health

A single mood swing probably doesn’t signify a thing, but if they feel emotionless and unresponsive, perhaps even socially withdrawn, something more sinister might be going on and elder abuse is not out of the question.

Check for signs of financial exploitation

This is hard to do, since there aren’t really any telltale signs of it. What you can do, however, is get in touch with a lawyer who will establish all the preventative measures.

Notice their personal hygiene

Does it feel like they’re neglected? As it often happens, elder abuse victimsoften show signs of poor or improper personal hygiene. This might indicate unsanitary conditions of the nursing home they’re living in.

Visit them often

If you can’t visit the nursing home that often, make sure that you’re going to be in touch with them on a regular basis. All in all, the goal is to check up on them every so often to ensure they’re properly taken care of and that they’re not neglected in any way.

Make a background check if someone is suspicious

Sometimes, upon visiting the nursing home, a staff member will catch your eye. For whatever reason that might be, your internal alarm bells will start ringing, and you won’t be able to shake off the feeling that something might not be quite in order. Should this happen to you, make a criminal background check and see if that person was ever arrested or involved in a crime.

Know your rights and act on them

Remaining passive is just about the worst thing you can do if you suspect something might be going on. As soon as you notice any signs that suggest anything of the like (or if you’ve identified one of the caregivers as fraudulent or abusive), do not wait around in hopes that the problem will go away on its own. Rather, you should be playing an active role an get in touch with an attorney who will help guide you.

Take them in if need be

If the circumstances allow for it, it might be a good idea to take care of the elderly person you love for for the time being, or at least until things get cleared up. In case you’re doing this based on suspicion alone, monitor if their condition has improved as a result of you taking them in and caring for them.

Conclusion

It cannot be stressed enough how important it is to take a proactive approach in caring for a loved one’s wellbeing, no matter where they are. By being on your guard and remaining observant at all times, you can spot and prevent a disaster before it gets out of hand.