Seven Signs Of Elder Abuse
An elderly person who has Alzheimer’s disease or the onset of dementia is particularly at risk for elder abuse since they are often unable to adequately communicate the abuse to others. Families, therefore, must keep a sharp and attentive eye for signs of elder abuse and be diligent in promptly reporting it to the authorities. Elder abuse is not only a crime, it is often filed as a civil lawsuit by plaintiff personal injury attorneys who seek compensation on behalf of the victim, and in cases of wrongful death, compensation for the decedent’s family. If your parent is in a nursing home, don’t assume they are not subject to abuse. You will need to be vigilant and don’t be shy to ask questions.
Here are seven signs of possible elder abuse:
1. A sudden shift in the elder’s personality, usually accompanied by episodes of confusion, irritability, and fear.
2. Look for evidence of tension between the caregiver and your elderly loved one. Being short and curt with the elder demonstrates a hostile atmosphere. The caregiver is supposed to be caring and agreeable – not abrupt and confrontational!
3. A common sign is when the caregivers refuse to allow others to visit the elderly person or decides for the elder which person(s) are allowed to visit them.
4. Look for new and unusual physical marks on the elder such as bedsores, bruises, burn marks or scrapes.
5. Look for a steady loss of weight resulting from malnutrition and dehydration. It is not unusual to have assisted living facilities cut costs by buying inexpensive and easy to prepare foods that lack nutrition.
6. If the caretaker and the elderly person are alone together most of the time.
7. The elder’s physical appearance and hygiene decline sharply. Also look for soiled bedspreads and sheets all of which points to a lack of attention and personal care for the elder.