Elder abuse is becoming more common throughout the country, and it is tearing families apart. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, the main types of elder abuse are verbal, financial, and physical. Also, a study conducted in New York found that one in three elderly persons were victims of at least one of the above-mentioned forms of abuse. Some risk factors for elder abuse include dementia, previous experiences with domestic violence, and a lack of social or legal support for those suffering from elder abuse. It is reported that elderly women are more likely to suffer abuse than elderly men. Here are signs of elder abuse.
Unexplained Scars, Cuts, or Bruises
This is one of the main signs of elder abuse. If the relative suddenly has bruises and scars that don't seem to be of his own doing by accident, you need to be concerned. Sometimes those who are caring for elderly patients get frustrated and as a result, they harm the patients. However, this is no excuse for maltreatment and you might need to confront the individual.
Disinterest in Hobbies and Other Activities
Constant elder abuse can cause your loved one to grow depressed and distant. This could lead to him not wanting to engage in the hobbies or activities he once enjoyed. If you're seeing this regularly, inquire into whether abuse is occurring or not.
If you see that your loved one's hair seems unkempt, is experiencing bedsores more frequently, unwashed body and having strong urine or bowel smell, teeth that don't appear to be brushed properly, and overgrown nails, then this could mean that abuse is happening.
Missing Items or Money From The Home
Another warning sign of elder abuse is if your loved one's money or other valuables go missing from the home regularly. This means that the caregiver might be stealing them and using the money on his own needs or wants.
How to Report Elder Abuse
You can report elder abuse to your state's department of human services, your city's district attorney, or the local sheriff's office. Another idea would be to report it to your state's Adult Protective Services. They're familiar with elder law and can help you understand how to get justice for your loved one.
In conclusion, when you know the signs of elder abuse, you're likely to know how to help your loved one should a situation like this occur.
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