The signs and symptoms of elderly abuse come in different forms. They can be either physical or behavioral. While the former can be easily detected, the latter is often missed. You should know that elderly abuse is a serious problem that can lead to serious physical injuries and long-term psychological consequences.
For instance, did you know that victims of elderly abuse are likely to die prematurely than those who are not? Recognizing elder abuse is central in devising prompt intervention that fosters the wellbeing of the victims. Let us look at some of the early warning signs of elderly abuse that you should be on the lookout for.
Poor hygiene and Neglect
When you find your loved one left unattended and neglected, try to find some answers. Most people miss identifying this form of abuse. Try to find out if your loved one is provided with adequate food and water, receives appropriate treatment, sleeps in a clean room, and is bathed.
Weight loss and malnourishment
A neglected elderly will portray signs of weight loss and malnutrition. Weight loss can be a result of other forms of abuse, including poor hygiene and emotional hygiene. When an individual is not eating and sleeping well or is under distress, he/she might lose weight swiftly. If you witness these symptoms on your loved ones, try to establish the cause and offer help
Unexplained transactions or lost money
Have you suspected large sums of money missing from bank statements from your loved one accounts? Financial abuse is increasingly becoming common among elderly living in assisted living facilities or nursing homes. Sadly, this from or abuse can leave elders unable to afford even the most basic healthcare needs. Luckily, there are attorneys helping elderly people in assisted living facilities against this and other forms of abuse. Do not hesitate to reach out for help as soon as you suspect financial or any form of abuse.
● Always have a trusted family member or financial expert monitor the financial account of your elderly relative. Keep in mind though that financial abuse can also be orchestrated by a family member.
Withdrawal or lost interest
Withdrawal by an elderly is usually a sign of emotional abuse, especially from individuals known to be jovial. When you notice an older adult emotionally upset, agitated, or becoming fearful, mostly in the presence of a specific individual, it could be a sign of abuse. Emotional elder abuse usually occurs when an individual suffers threats, intimidation, or humiliation, causing distress. They tend to be shy and want to be left alone all the time
Visible physical injuries
According to the National Center for victims of crime, physical abuse among the elderly accounts for 27.4% of all abuses. It is also the most common and concealed type of abuse. Common physical signs to look out for include bruises and welts, black eyes, broken bones, and burns. Depending on an individual, some may report the abuse, while others might not. It is advisable to regularly check up on your loved one and use your best judgment in case of an injury.
Cases of elderly abuse in assisted living facilities continue to be on the rise. While it is meant to be a safe haven for older adults, some homes end up being an unfit place. Always ensure you engage with your loved one to establish the challenges and any form of abuse they are subjected to. You can always take legal action if you find that they have gone through any form of abuse.