Roughly one in six people in America aged 60 and up has suffered some form of abuse. Some seniors have been abused within their own homes by relatives or family members, while other ones have been neglected or mistreated in nursing homes. Unfortunately, as seniors grow weaker and older, they might not be able to recognize indications of abuse. Even if they can, they might not have the ability to clearly communicate with other people or defend themselves.
If someone is taking care of your loved one and you do not have the ability to constantly keep an eye on interactions between them, you should have the ability to recognize indications of the various forms of abuse. While some types of elder abuse may be more dangerous than others, both may pose a substantial risk on the health of your elderly loved one. Below is a list of some risk factors, warning signs, and kinds of elder abuse you should be alert to if you have suspicions that your elderly family member is being abused.
Warning Indications of Elder Neglect and Abuse
While elder neglect and abuse are similar in many ways, they have different meanings. Abuse may be defined as an intentional pursuit of harassment, injury, withdrawal of service/care, isolation, or usage of restraints to inflict harm on someone. Elder abuse severely can affect your loved one’s financial, physical, and psychological welfare. Your immediate action can ensure your loved one’s safety, so contact the elder abuse attorney in your nearest area. Some indications of elder abuse you might see include:
- No explanation for charges or loss of money
- Detachment from friends or family
- Confusion, depression, or anxiety
- Poor hygiene
- Substantial undernourishment or weight loss
- Lacerations, broken bones, bruises
On the flip side, neglect derives from an insufficient care level, intentional or not. An unwillingness to meet a senior’s basic needs may be just as harmful as abuse. Indications of elderly neglect involve:
- Unsanitary living areas
- Lost medical aids, such as dentures, hearing aids, walkers, or glasses
- Failure to hydrate and nourish elder with correct medicine, drinks, or meals
- Lack of hygienic practices
- Being left unsupervised for an extended time period
- Ulcers or bedsores
What are the Risk Factors for Mistreatment of Seniors?
Even though any senior may be a victim of neglect or abuse, specific people have a greater risk of experiencing it. Some common factors affecting risk of senior mistreatment involve:
- Social Context: If all a caregiver does is work, they might feel distant from their life; if seniors have little or no family or live by themselves, this may cause isolation and loneliness
- Elder Factors: Age, gender, personality, illness, health status
- Caregiver Factors: Alcohol dependency, mental illness, hostility, stress, or history of aggression or violence
- Relationship Type: If an elder and caregiver reside in a shared area, or if the caregiver is a child or spouse
Forms of Elder Abuse
Elder abuse may have long-lasting consequences, which includes debilitating physical injuries, grave emotional suffering, or even death. While you might have the ability to immediately see bruises or cuts, other symptoms might be more difficult to identify. Recognizing how to distinguish the forms of elder abuse may help to stop or prevent it. Some common forms of elder abuse involve:
- Sexual: Nonconsensual sex, which causes a senior loved one to experience pain in genital regions or have bruises and unexplained STDs (sexually transmitted diseases)
- Financial: Controlling a senior’s bank accounts and performing unauthorized transactions, which causes confusion
- Emotional: Screaming at, verbally threatening, or instilling fear in a senior, which causes isolation or a hesitation to speak freely
- Physical: Purposeful act by way of contact with body parts, which causes burns, broken bones, concussions, sores, scrapes, or welts
If you witness that a caregiver has become aggressive or withdraws from correctly taking care of a loved one, immediately act before things get out of hand. Do not allow the little things to slide, as it may show a caregiver that their behavior is just fine in poorly treating your loved one. Establish boundaries from the start, and if those boundaries get broken, your senior loved one deserves justice.
The idea of it is quite disturbing, yet elderly abuse happens all too often. Society’s most vulnerable population, seniors, rely on nursing home facilities to take care of them and keep them safe.
Nursing home negligence attorneys in Long Island NY may assist you in determining whether your elderly family member has been neglected inside a nursing home center. The most typical occurrences of neglect in nursing homes include:
- Wrongful death
- Not preventing residents from leaving the nursing facility
- Not preventing bed sores
- Not providing medical care
- Use of unwarranted physical or chemical restraints
- Overt sexual and physical abuse
- Under- or over-medication
- Not helping with personal hygiene
- Not providing proper hydration and nutrition
- Not taking reasonable measures to prevent slips and falls and other forms of injuries
Neglect in nursing homes can take many forms, yet all of it can be damaging in some way – financially, physically, or emotionally. As the senior population rises and the social dynamics of society start favoring nursing home facility care over in-home care, loved ones should be vigilant in safeguarding seniors from abuse. Recognizing the signs of neglect and getting in touch with a nursing home negligence attorney if you suspect or know your senior loved one isn’t properly being taken care of is crucial in the battle against abuse.
Understanding forms of nursing home abuse might go a long way in preventing it in society, or at the very least safeguarding your loved ones from experiencing its consequences.
Anyone who has a family member in a care or nursing home facility wants to think that their loved one is obtaining the best care possible. All of us want to feel at ease knowing that the people we’ve put in charge of caring for our family member are doing their jobs.
Unfortunately, neglect in nursing homes occurs on a regular basis. The majority of nursing homes and rehab centers don’t employ sufficient staff to take care of all the residents they take in. Even worse, the neglect might go undetected because the elderly victims are sometimes incapable of understanding or communicating abuse and because the perpetrators work diligently to conceal their neglectful or wrongful acts. In the worst instances, victims do not have the ability to share details because they didn’t survive the abuse.
Contact an Elder Abuse Attorney in Long Island NY
Recognizing the warnings of senior mistreatment may help to ensure that your family member is treated with the care and respect they deserve. If you have suspicions that the life of your senior family member is being placed at risk by a neglectful caregiver, say something as soon as possible. Do not hesitate to report the circumstances to the authorities and seek trusted counsel to determine what might be done to obtain justice.