Elder Abuse and Neglect in Older Loved Ones

By on April 21, 2016
Elder Abuse and Neglect in Older Loved Ones

Having an elder loved one in a nursing facility shouldn’t be worrisome. You trust the facility to provide them with the best care. Unfortunately, there can be as many as 5 million elder victims each year. Because elder abuse can be difficult to spot, the following signs can help you better recognize the symptoms. It can also offer assistance on how to take action if you suspect any wrongdoing.

Physical Abuse

Most would love to enjoy the good life as you enter your golden years. This could mean travels through Hawaii, Paris or Tuscany. If you’re no longer able to take care of yourself, an assisted living facility may offer a better retirement option. Elder neglect and mistreatment can occur in even the finest of facilities. Because it can be difficult to spot, caregivers need to take on the responsibility of recognizing the symptoms. This is especially important for elder loved ones going through dementia. Common physical signs can include broken bones, bruises, abrasions, burns and pressure marks. You may also hear excuses for an injury such as they must have run into a wall or fallen. Because elder patients can become quiet, it’s important to take the individual aside to determine the problem. You may also want to ask if they are afraid

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Signs of Neglect

Signs of neglect can extend beyond physical abuse. Important signs a loved one may be experiencing neglect at a facility can include dirty clothes and soiled diapers. The elder patient may also lose a significant amount of weight and have bedsores on their body. A facility should take pride in their housekeeping duties. This includes keeping the rooms tidy and bathrooms clean. They should also have their glasses, canes or hearing aids handy and within reach at all times. If the elder is incapacitated or disabled, it could be a case of neglect if they’re not receiving the proper medication or assistance.

Verbal and Emotional Abuse

Abuse can extend beyond neglect and physical injuries. An elder loved one may also be verbally and emotionally damaged. Look for changes in their demeanor. They may even withdraw from conversations and become nervous or fearful. They may also show signs of rocking or biting. This can be more predominant when around the abusive caregiver. If a caregiver yells or reprimands them in any way, you may notice a tense relationship between the two individuals.

Sexual Abuse

It may difficult to think about, but sexual elder abuse happens. An attacker may look for and easy and vulnerable target to overpower. Seniors can make the perfect sexual victims. They may also be less likely able to report the abuse because they are afraid or uncertain. Proof of sexual abuse can include bruises around the chest or breasts. Bruising around the genital area of the body, venereal disease or rectal bleeding. A patient may also find it difficult to walk or stand. They may also become depressed or withdrawn. A caregiver at a nursing facility may be flirtatious or touchy with your loved one.

Financial Exploitation

Financial exploitation can occur when a caregiver takes advantage of a patient. Whether they steal an elder’s belongings or they find a way to control their finances, you need to stay alert to the signs. You can begin by looking for frequent banking cash withdraws. If the elder loved one has credit cards, take note of any unusual transactions. If made a purchase, look for items that fail to arrive. If a gift has arrived, make sure it’s there the next time you come visit.

What to Do if You Suspect Elder Abuse?

If the danger is not immediate to a loved one, you can relay your concerns to the facility supervisor. You can also find an elder abuse lawyer to aid in your cause. If you’re looking for a fearless advocate Garcia Law has a team of individuals to help protect your loved one no matter if it’s physical, sexual, financial or verbal abuse. If someone is in life threatening danger, you can call 911 for immediate assistance. There are also hotlines, helplines and other elder abuse resources where you can report your concerns.


Lynn DaleyLynn Daley is a tremendously fit 50 plus nutritionist and physical fitness instructor.  Health, and body movement is essential to quality years later in life. “Yes that is really me in the picture.”

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Elder Abuse and Neglect in Older Loved Ones