Signs Of Elderly Abuse
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Unfortunately, elderly abuse is a reality for many seniors. The abuse can be emotional, financial, physical, sexual or in the form of neglect. The elderly are unable to defend themselves against the abuse and this puts them at a higher risk of being abused. Also, some of them are not as mentally alert as they used to be, and this makes them prone to being abused. Therefore, if you have a loved one living in a nursing home or with a caregiver, it is important that you keep a look out for signs of elderly abuse.
Each type of abuse comes with its own signs. Physical abuse, perhaps, is most easy to catch. The person may have bruising, cuts or welts on the torso, arms or face. Usually, these marks will be in places where the person would not be able to hurt themselves. At times, the person may also end up with broken bones. If you notice any of these signs, then there is a possibility that your loved one is being abused by a caregiver, staff at a nursing home or a spouse.
Signs of emotional abuse can be difficult to spy, but they will be present if you observe carefully. An elderly who is abused emotionally may display fits of anger, crying, or resort to lying. Also, the person will not be social and will prefer to be alone without any company. If the emotional abuse is particularly severe, the senior may begin to rock, suck their thumb or suffer from paranoia.
Financial abuse occurs when a person tries to take advantage of the senior's finances and assets. Usually, the abuser in such a case is a family member, a family friend, or a caregiver. The person tries to convince the senior to transfer money or assets into their name and may also end up encasing the senior's Social Security checks or getting access to the senior's pension. Some of the signs of financial abuse include unpaid bills, missing money from the account, missing family heirlooms, missing valuable items from the house or sudden transfer of property and funds to another person.
Sexual abuse of a senior is a reality that many people do not like to hear about. However, there have been cases of the elderly being sexually abused in nursing homes. Some of the signs of sexual abuse include bruises and grazes around the genitals, sudden onset of venereal disease, itching of the genitals, smelly discharge from the genitals, and/or bleeding. Also, the senior may try to avoid any discussion about having a physical exam done. If you suspect that your loved one is being sexually abused by someone, it is best to report the incident to the Department of Human Services, who will conduct an investigation and come to the truth. Alternatively, you can also report the incident to the police.
Neglect is also a type of abuse that some seniors have to bear. Neglect can be in the form of abandonment, when the person requires 24 hours care as he or she is unable to care for themselves. Neglect can at times be visible as the senior may appear unkempt, have soiled clothes on, hair will be uncombed, the bed will have dirty linen, and the living environment will be dirty. Also, when an elderly person is not given food or is given insufficient food, it amounts to neglect. If the person has bed sores, insect bites or some other wounds on the body, it could be a sign of neglect.
If you notice any of the aforementioned signs, there is a possibility that the person in question is being abused in some way or the other. It is best to bring it to the notice of the relevant authorities in your city or town and let them handle the matter from there. You can also speak to your lawyer to see what type of legal action you can take against the abuser or the facility.
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