Five Signs of Elderly Abuse

Published On January 20, 2017 | By Martin Fuentes | Health

Elder abuse is any intentional, knowing or negligent act which causes harm to an elderly person; physically, emotionally, mentally, sexually, or financially. As seniors age, they become more and more dependent on other people for care, and they also become much more vulnerable to exploitation, abuse and neglect. Elder abuse tends to happen when you least suspect it. According to NCEA (abbreviation for, National Center on Elder Abuse), most of elderly abuse cases are perpetrated by trusted and known people, particularly the family members. That said, it’s important to note that elder abuse can also happen in institutional settings like assisted living communities, in hospitals and in nursing homes.

Recognizing the signs of elder abuse is crucial to immediate intervention, and reducing the overall impact of the abuse on the elderly person. In this article, we are going to discuss five signs of elderly abuse. In case you happen to notice any of the signs given below, you can contact Dolman Law Group, and they’ll help you with your elderly abuse case.

Signs of Elderly Abuse
Elderly abuse can take numerous forms and most times it is not that evident at plain sight. The 1st step in recognizing elder abuse is learning about the signs and types of abuse. Here is a list of the common signs and types of elder abuse to watch out for;

1. Physical Abuse
This is the most evident and common type of abuse. Physical elderly abuse can be defined as the intentional harm of an older person through injury or physical force. Signs of this type of abuse include, but not limited to;
-Unexplained signs of injuries like bruises or scars.
-Sprains, fractures, broken bones or dislocations.
-Burn marks.
-Broken eyeglasses.
-Signs of restraints like rope marks on the wrists.
-Untreated or poorly treated injuries.
-Soiled bedding or clothing, among others.

2. Psychological or Emotional Abuse
When the caregiver is intentionally causing psychological stress to an elderly person, it’s considered psychological abuse. In other words, it is the intentional infliction of pain or stress via nonverbal or verbal conduct. The caregiver might resort to threats, insults, harassment, or similar body behavior to emotionally hurt or intimidate the elderly person. Signs of emotional or psychological abuse include, but not limited to;
-Unexplained weight loss.
-Problem sleeping.
-Increased stress levels (higher blood pressure)
-Visibly fearfulness when the perpetrator is around.
-Sudden mood swings.
-Low self-esteem, among others.

3. Sexual Abuse
Sexual abuse can be defined as the sexual contact with the elderly person that’s non-consensual. Sexual abuse can include, but not limited to; forced nudity, unwanted touching, taking of sexually explicit pictures, rape or sexual battery. Signs of this type of elderly abuse include;
-Unexplained STD (sexually transmitted disease).
-Difficulty walking.
-Bruising on the genitals or breasts.
-Bleeding or irritation of genitals
-Unusual or inappropriate relationships between the perpetrator and victim.
-Stained or torn undergarments.

4. Financial Abuse or Exploitation
This can be defined as the improper or illegal use of the elderly person’s assets. This can include, but not limited to; manipulation of the senior’s bank account(s), their real estate property, and other financial interests. Pressuring an elderly person to sign documents like estate planning documents, also falls under financial abuse. Signs of exploitation or financial abuse include, but not limited to;
-Significant money withdrawals from the senior’s account(s).
-Purchase of unnecessary items or services.
-Sudden changes in financial condition.
-Cash or items missing.
-Suspicious change in wills, property titles, power of attorney and policies.
-Lack of proper medical care or/and unpaid bills though the senior has enough money.
-Financial activities the elderly couldn’t have done.
-Having the senior offer expensive gifts in exchange for companionship.
-Caregiver has total control over the senior’s finances.
-Suspicious signatures on the senior’s account(s).
-Recently signed documents which the senior cannot explain.
-Withdrawals they cannot explain.
-Lack of understanding or confusion about financial arrangements.

5. Neglect
This can be defined as the caregiver’s refusal to offer for the necessary support and care. Neglect can be unintentional or intentional. Signs of neglect can include, but not limited to;
-Unusual weight loss.
-Untreated physical injuries.
-Desertion in a public place.
-Being left dirty.
-Unsanitary living conditions.
-Unsuitable clothing especially in harsh weather.
-Being left without supervision for a long period of time.
-Dehydration or malnutrition.

If you suspect that an elderly person is being abused, it’s important to take the appropriate measures so as to prevent the situation from getting worse. Reporting elder abuse can actually save someone’s life. With that said, it is important to note that instead of confronting the perpetrator, it’s best to contact the pertinent authorities to investigate the elderly abuse case.


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