If you have a loved one in an assisted care facility, nursing home, or other senior living arrangement, chances are that you check on them frequently and worry about elder abuse. During your visits, if you notice something odd about their behavior, physical marks, or other issues that draw your attention, these problems should be taken seriously. If you are unsure if your loved one is being mistreated or if there is something going on when you are not there, here are 6 warning signs of elder abuse that you should watch for:
- Physical abuse signs – these are injuries such as bruises, abrasions, cuts, scrapes, pressure marks, broken bones, burns, and so on. These can be signs of mistreatment, physical abuse, or neglect. Sometimes these injuries may not always be visible, but may result in the victim moving slowly, having pains, or wearing more clothing to cover up marks.
- Hygiene problems – this can be anything from failing hygiene to bedsores, untreated medical issues to severe weight loss. Make sure that you pay attention to your loved one’s hygiene when you visit so you are quickly aware of changes.
- Withdrawal – many victims will withdraw from normal activities, friends, or family if abuse is occurring. This can be as noticeable as not leaving their room or severe depression to small changes in their alertness or withdrawal from their favorite activities with others.
- Financial changes – elder abuse does not always have to be physical or mental abuse, it can be in the form of financial abuse as well. Financial abuse can be from another family member or an employee of the facility and can occur for long periods before it becomes severe enough to show to others.
- Relationship issues – if you notice that the relationships between your loved one and the staff or a particular employee has suddenly changed, this could be a sign of a more serious problem. These signs can be as small as your loved one no longer being friendly to as large as heated arguments, be watchful for any changes in the relationship between your loved one and their caregivers.
- Problematic behavior changes – this can be either in the staff or caregivers or in your loved on and includes things like threats, belittling someone, insults, or other uses of power or control.
It is vital that you visit and check in on your loved one constantly so that you can be alerted to any changes or problems quickly. Most elderly victims do not realize what is happening or they simply do not say anything because they do not want to worry you. Instead, they will suffer with the abuse in silence. If you notice any type of change or problem when you are there, ask questions. If your loved one will not answer, talk to the supervisor of the staff that takes care of them.
If you are worried that a loved one may be the victim of elder abuse, contact our office today for a free consultation (918) 582-2500.
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Articles on A-Vlaw.com are not intended to take the place of professional legal advice. If you need legal advice, please contact our offices for a free consultation at (918) 582 – 2500.