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Elder Abuse: What To Look For

Unfortunately, many seniors become abused by nursing home staff and even their own family members. Statistics show that as many as 1 in 20 seniors will become victims of elder abuse. Elder abuse can happen to any senior, but those who are dependent on others are most likely to experience it. In fact, the typical victim is a female over the age of 75 who is dependent on a spouse or other family member. Elder abuse can happen to anyone, anywhere. While the physical wounds associated with abuse are usually temporary, the emotional damage can last a lifetime. If you think a senior is being abused or neglected, it’s important that you step in before the situation worsens. This article will explain what to look for.

Types of Elder Abuse

Elder abuse is not just physical in nature. To be sure, elder abuse can occur in the following ways:

  • Physical abuse. This involves the use of force to cause pain and physical injuries such as broken bones, bruises and lacerations.
  • Emotional abuse. This involves causing anguish and distress by name-calling, insults, taunting, threats and other verbal behavior.
  • Sexual abuse. This refers to a caregiver engaging in any type of sexual behavior without consent of the senior.
  • Financial abuse. This refers to stealing or using an elderly person’s money and other assets improperly or without consent.
  • Abandonment. This occurs when a caregiver leaves the senior alone and the senior has nobody to care for him or her.
  • Neglect. This is the failure to care for an elderly person. This includes feeding, bathing, dressing and giving medications.

Signs of Elder Abuse

If you notice the following, your loved one may be a victim of elder abuse:

  • Unexplained bruises or broken bones
  • Excessive weight loss
  • Agitation/irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Becomes withdrawn
  • Stops participating in activities he or she once enjoyed
  • Incidents of confusion or depression
  • Suddenly develops bed sores
  • Appears neglected, with dirty hair and clothes
  • Financial accounts have money missing
  • Sudden onset on dementia, which can be attributed to abuse or medication misuse

Contact a High Point Elder Law Attorney Today

It’s important that we keep seniors safe, especially since they tend to be frail and often cannot speak up and protect themselves. If you are concerned about your elderly loved one being neglected or abused, the attorneys at McAllister, Aldridge & Kreinbrink PLLC can help. If a family member is the one committing the abuse or neglect, we can discuss guardianship options. Call our office at (336) 882-4300 to schedule a consultation today.

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