Each year, thousands of elderly individuals suffer from elder abuse. Elder abuse happens to people who are vulnerable and often need others to care for them. An elder abuser can be anyone — a man, woman, friend or caregiver. Furthermore, elder abuse can happen anywhere — nursing homes, assisted living facilities, hospitals, trusted friend or family member’s home, or the elder’s home.
There are warning signs of possible abuse that you should know about if you have an elderly loved one. Oftentimes, the abuse goes on in silence without the elder speaking up, which makes it absolutely critical for friends and family to be attentive.
Warning Signs of Possible Elder Abuse
There are many ways elders are abused. Elder abuse is comprised of any intentional or negligent action that results in harm to the elder.
Any unexplained or unusual cuts, bruises, fractures, breaks, burns, or sores could be signs of physical abuse.
Changes in emotional well-being might be good indicators that there might be something amiss with your elderly loved one. Withdrawing from activities they once enjoyed, sudden lack of focus, or depression are some of the warning signs.
Also watch the caregiver. If the caregiver is insulting, humiliating, threatening, demeaning, careless, controlling, or angry — essentially, treating the elder without the respect he or she deserves — then this should at least tip you off that there is something wrong. Emotional abuse can manifest through actions or words.
Exploitation for monetary gain is one of the most common reasons for elder abuse. You might notice that the elder is giving unusual, expensive gifts or paying a proportionally high amount for care services. Or you might notice that personal belongings or comforts will go missing from their home. The elderly can be at risk when another person has control of their finances but they are not being properly provided for. Property can be compromised if the elderly are convinced to make transfers without being mentally competent to understand what they are doing.
You might notice neglect if you see that your elderly loved one is not being sufficiently dressed, bathed, provided with food, or provided with medications and medical care. You might see that the home is disheveled or the elder is left unsupervised. Physical signs include bedsores and weight loss.
Who Is at Risk for Elder Abuse?
Anyone is at risk, but people who may be especially at risk include those who suffer from dementia, isolated environments, weakened physical condition, or substance abuse. Caregivers who also suffer from problems such as mental health and substance abuse issues may increase the risk of abuse to others.
An experienced attorney can help you and your family through the steps needed to obtain the recovery your loved one deserves. At Robenalt Law Firm, Attorney Tom Robenalt has helped families and their loved ones obtain compensation for elder abuse. Contact our Ohio personal injury law firm today for a free, confidential consultation by calling (216) 223-7535 or filling out our online form.