Warning Signs Of Elder Abuse To Look Out For And Measures To Take

Once your parents enter their golden years, they require utmost love, care, and attention. They have spent all their lives taking care of you, ensuring that you get nothing but the best. And, now with age, they need a similar type of supervision and protection, if not equal.

For the same reason, many people who tend to stay busy, thus are unable to pay attention to the health and wellbeing of their elders, send them to nursing homes. These facilities provide extensive care, including custodial and skilled care to the elders. It usually includes certified and trained caregivers, nurses, and even doctors who are responsible for supervising and protecting the patient. But, sometimes, things do not go as planned.

What Does Statistics State?

According to reports, more than half a million cases of elder abuse are reported every year in the US. Nearly 10% of victims in these reported cases are aged 60 and more. It is due to the intentional or unintentional neglect of the nursing homes or assisted living service providers or caregivers.

Whatever the reason may be, if you have also sent your parents or any elder you know is residing there, you must protect them. So, you must look for the signs of elder abuse and measures to take.

What Is Elder Abuse Or Neglect?

Physical, emotional, or sexual damage to the elders is referred to but is not limited to as elder abuse. It also accounts for financial exploitation, neglecting their health and wellbeing, not providing adequate (and nutritious) food, and much more.

Inability to fight back against bullying or any type of attack makes elders vulnerable to poor treatment. Furthermore, their deteriorating physical, mental or emotional health offers an advantage to unscrupulous people.

If you suspect such type of harassment or assault with elders, you must report it to the police. In addition to this, you should speak to a nursing home abuse attorney or hire them to seek justice for the victims. They can help you file suit against the nursing home and get compensation for compensatory and punitive damages. Nevertheless, you must first learn about the warning signs that can help prove your suspicion.

Warning Signs To Watch Out For:

As mentioned above, elder abuse is of numerous types. Therefore, you must pay attention to the following warning signs:

  • Physical Abuse
    • Enduring unexplained fractures, dislocations, or strains
    • Bruising, scarring, or welts on the body
    • Failure to take medications as directed
    • Restraint signs, such as rope marks on the wrist
    • Broken spectacles
    • The caregiver’s unwillingness to allow you to be alone with the fellow residents.
  • Emotional Abuse
    • Unusual behavior in the elderly resembles dementia symptoms, such as muttering, sucking one’s thumb, or rocking.
    • Witnessing the caregiver’s insulting, domineering, or threatening actions.
  • Sexual Abuse
    • STDs or other genital illnesses that are unexplained
    • Bruising around the genitals or the breasts
    • Underwear that is stained, bloodied, or ripped
    • Vaginal or anal bleeding that is not caused by a medical condition
  • Financial Exploitation
    • Large deductions from the elder’s funds.
    • Unexpected changes in the elder’s finances.
    • Items or cash have gone missing from the senior’s home.
    • Changes in wills, power of attorney, titles, and policies that seem suspicious.
    • The senior’s signature card has been updated with the addition of names.
    • Financial transactions that the senior could not have performed, such as an ATM transaction when the account holder is bedridden.
    • Services, commodities, or subscriptions that are not required.
  • Healthcare Fraud
    • Evidence of receiving insufficient or excessive medicine
    • Having several invoices for the same services or equipment
    • A lack of suitable training for personnel
    • Shortage of staff
    • Even when services are paid in full, there is evidence of substandard treatment.
  • Self-Neglect Warning Signs
    • Weight loss that is unusual, starvation, and dehydration
    • Physical issues that go untreated, such as bed sores.
    • Living circumstances that are unsanitary: filth, pests, unclean bedding, and clothes.
    • Being left unclean or without a bath.
    • Inappropriate clothes or covering for the weather.
    • Living situations that are unsafe
    • The elder’s desertion in a public location.

All these are the evident signs of elder abuse that you must look out for. On noticing these signs, you must consult the police and attorney to protect the elders.

A Word From Verywell

Watching elders, be it your parents or any other person, suffer is disheartening and overwhelming. But, due to the same reason, it is essential that you take the right step and seek justice for such wrongful acts. Contact the police and attorney to help the elders get compensation for the damages.