What Is Elder Abuse?
Any person or caregiver that intentionally or neglectfully performs an act that harms a vulnerable adult(the elder) is considered elder abuse. Professional and personalized care is expected from facilities like assisted living facilities, old folk’s homes, and hospitals where the elder are admitted to be treated and cared for. Regretfully, elder abuse cases have risen over the years and the sad part is that only about 20% of the total elder abuse cases get reported. An elder person is in a vulnerable state, hence the reason for them being admitted into these facilities. Learning that a loved one was abused or neglected can sometimes go undetected, and once it is brought to the light, misery, and devastation strikes the family.
Elder abuse manifests itself is various forms like emotional, psychological, financial, and physician. While it is often hard to detect that abuse is taking place, there are some signs that can signify that abuse or neglect is occurring. The sad part about elder abuse is that many are unable to communicate due to their medical condition or unstable mental state. Family members need to be vigilant of their loved ones and recognize the signs that may indicate that their loved one is not being cared for or treated according to the standard of care.
Signs that Might Indicate Elder Abuse/Neglect
Because elder abuse can manifest in many forms, there are many signs that an elderly person may be displaying that could be derived from an abuse or neglect that is taking place. Some of those signs include:
- Isolation from family, friends, and the outside world
- A pale complexion
- Financial documents or a will that has had abrupt changes
- Lack of medical assisting equipment like hearing aids or walkers
- Infestation of insects or rodents within the living space
- Rashes, bedsore, or recurrent infections
- Sore or dry mouth
- Low Urinary output
- Bruises, cuts, injuries
- Presence of fear
- Poor hygiene like dirty nails or dirty undergarments
- Sudden weight loss
- Unexplained activity in bank account
These are just some signs that may be due to some form of elder abuse. Elder abuse is hard to detect, especially if there are no physical indicators. It is not the same trying to pinpoint emotional abuse towards physical abuse for obvious reasons. When an elder person is physically abused, there will more than likely be signs like injuries or bruises, while emotional abuse is based more on the behavior of the individual. Once a loved one feels that abuse is taking place, they must report it and consult a Nursing home negligence attorney in the name of the elder person.
If a loved one does not act immediately, the abuse will continue and it will hinder the elder’s chances at recovering and will work towards reducing the amount of time that the elder person has to live. Those who have been abused have a higher percentage rate of passing away quicker than someone who has not been abused. Personal injury attorneys will seek full compensation for their clients and will work in returning some normalcy back into their lives.