expects anything to happen to their loved ones when they are given
professional care. Odds are you're paying good money to ensure that your
loved one is properly taken care of so that their quality of life remains high.
You've probably done a lot of research to make sure the caregiver is reputable
as well. Unfortunately, elder abuse is something that can still happen. Several
organizations have estimated that upwards of five million elders are abused
Common Signs of Elder Abuse
can sometimes be difficult to tell if elder abuse has taken place, especially
if your loved one suffers from a cognitive impairment, which makes it hard for
them to communicate, recognize what's happening to them or defend themselves
against different forms of abuse. The following are a few signs to keep an eye
out for that your loved one might be suffering from elder abuse:
- Signs of
physical abuse - You should be very wary of any
unexplained signs of injury or if the explanations for their injuries seem
suspect. You should be particularly wary if injuries occur regularly. Some
of the common signs of physical abuse include bruises, pressure marks,
burns, sprains, dislocations and broken bones. Pay attention to the
caregiver's actions as well. If they take your loved one to multiple
medical facilities to receive treatment or attempt to restrict your
ability to visit, it's a sign that there may be physical abuse.
- Signs of sexual abuse - Although this is the last thing you
want to think about it, it can and has happened. Signs of sexual abuse
include injuries around the patient's private areas, depression,
difficulty walking or standing, signs of venereal diseases and
inappropriate comments or touching by the caregiver.
- Signs of neglect - The caregiver is obligated to help your
loved one with their activities of daily living, which includes eating,
dressing, grooming, bathing and moving, to name a few. If your loved one
is disabled in any way (such as physically or cognitively), then they need
a lot of attention in these areas. Neglect occurs when the caregiver does
not properly assist with these tasks. Neglect can occur accidentally as
well. For example, if the caregiver is overworked and forgets to tend to a
certain task, such as giving your loved one their medicine or gives them
the wrong medicine. Some of the common signs of neglect include dirty
clothes, unusual weight loss, a messy home, the lack of necessary medical
aids and bedsores.
- Signs of emotional abuse - Emotional abuse can be difficult to
identify, especially if your loved one has trouble with communicating.
Signs of emotional abuse often include nervous or fearful behavior,
withdrawal or apathy or a tense relationship with their caregiver. You can
sometimes spot emotional abuse as its happening if you notice the
caregiver isolating your loved one or yelling at them.
- Signs of financial exploitation - Financial exploitation is one of the
most common forms of elder abuse. This is because seniors who have
cognitive impairments are much easier to take advantage of and tend to
have more money than younger adults. Signs of financial exploitation
include more frequent cash withdrawals, increased credit card use,
disappearing money, unusual purchases and unpaid bills (caregivers are
often responsible for paying their patient's bills).
more thoroughly you research the caregiver, the less likely elder abuse is to
happen, but that doesn't mean that you shouldn't watch out for it. If you do
suspect elder abuse, you should call the police or a local adult protective
services agency as well as speak to a lawyer specializing in elder abuse cases.
Facts About Nursing Home Abuse
Reporting Nursing Home Abuse
Hollywood Nursing Home Deaths