Elders are one of our society’s most vulnerable populations. Although the elderly are fonts of wisdom and experience, their often fragile physical and mental health can set them up for dangerous situations. Caretakers – whether family or professional – are a valuable resource for people whose elderly loved ones may struggle attend to their own needs. Unfortunately, the pressures of caretaking and subsequent caregiver burnout affect everyone, even friends and family. If your loved one receives care either in a facility or their own home, it’s important to keep an eye out for potential signs of elder abuse to ensure they remain safe, happy, and healthy.
Signs of Physical Elder Abuse
When most people think of abusive practices, they likely think of physical abuse. Hitting, slapping, or pushing elders happens in many cases of abuse. However, restraining or trapping elders is another type of physical abuse that is often overlooked. For example, a caretaker may tie a dementia patient to furniture or lock them in a room to prevent them from wandering. These situations also constitute physical elder abuse. Signs of physical abuse include broken eyeglasses, bruises, restraint marks, scrapes, scars, or burns.
Signs of Emotional or Mental Elder Abuse
Emotional or mental abuse can isolate elders even more than aging already does. Caregivers who emotionally abuse elders may yell, insult, threaten, or neglect them. Observers may notice an emotionally abused elder is more withdrawn, agitated, or stops doing things they enjoy or seeing people they love. Neglect often has both a physical and mental impact on the victim. In addition to feeling withdrawn, for example, the elder may have bed sores, have lost weight, have a noticeable body odor, or be wearing dirty clothing.
Signs of Financial Elder Abuse
Financial abuse is when a person takes advantage of another’s money. This type of elder abuse may be perpetrated by a caregiver, friend, or even a stranger. For this reason, it can be difficult to determine when it occurs, especially if there is no obvious distress. Financial abuse could be the mismanagement of the victim’s money or theft. Neglecting to pay for necessities like an electric bill or medical equipment also qualifies as financial abuse. Some signs of financial abuse may include final notice bills coming in the mail, no medical implements like medication or dentures, unusually high credit card statements, new lines of credit or large purchases, and other unusual financial activity.
Defending the Elderly Across the Country
No matter the age or health situation, all people deserve to feel safe and well. There is no excuse for preying on vulnerable populations. This is especially true in a professional care facility where families trust caregivers to care for their loved ones. The Elder Abuse attorneys at McCune Wright Arevalo, LLP, aim to hold these parties accountable for their abusive practices. By diligently pursuing justice for our elders, we hope to elevate the quality of life for older individuals nationwide.
If you believe your elderly loved one is the victim of elder abuse while in a care facility, contact us today or call (909) 345-8110 to schedule your free, discreet consultation.