Facts about Elder Abuse that You Need to Know to Protect Your Loved Ones

Angry Man

As people age, they may face many challenges like illness, mobility issues, and memory problems. Unfortunately, unscrupulous individuals may use such struggles as an opportunity to neglect or take advantage of aging persons. This occurrence is known as elder abuse.

Forms of Elder Abuse 

Abuse against an older adult could be undertaken through several different ways including:

  • Physical Abuse 
    A caregiver uses physical force to subdue, restrain or coerce an elderly individual into performing a specific activity.
  • The Irresponsibility of Caregivers 
    Home health aides, nursing home workers, and rehabilitation facility employees might neglect to assist the elderly persons under their care. Such actions may include forgetting to administer medications, failing to check up on bedridden or immobile persons, and not bathing individuals who cannot clean themselves.
  • Verbal and Psychological Abuse 
    This type of abuse could be executed by yelling, making threats against, or insulting an aged person for subjugation purposes.
  • Financial Abuse 
    In specific instances, especially when an older person is stricken with memory, mental, or mobility issues, said individual might entrust the management of their finances to a relative or trusted professional. However, the designated financial manager uses the power they are given to misappropriate the monetary assets of the person they were sworn to care for or steal their items.

Alarming Statistics about Elder AbuseAbuse of seniors is a growing problem and has been for awhile now. In 2011, there were roughly 4,000 cases of abuse reported in Palm Beach County. As the aging populations grow, cases of elder abuse in Palm Beach and throughout the United States are, unfortunately, expected to increase.

Signs to Look Out for if You Suspect Elder Abuse Sometimes a person being subjected to some form of abuse will display red flags, such as unexplained bruising or bodily injury, declining physical or mental condition, poor hygiene, unsafe or unsanitary living conditions, and have untreated wounds like bedsores. It is also important to pay attention to how the individual in question’s caregivers behave when a loved one is present. For example, should a caretaker not allow a relative to visit with their family member alone, such circumstances could be a significant cause for concern.

Can Corrective Measures be Employed? 
If a loved one suspects that their family member or friend has been the victim of elder abuse, authorities advise them to take crucial steps such as speaking with the victim, garnering the testimony of witnesses, taking pictures highlighting any sustained injuries, and monitoring the victim’s financial accounts for any drastic or unsuspected changes or withdrawals. Once this information is collected, it can be taken to a lawyer, a State-based Ombudsman for long-term care, or in severe manifestations of abuse, the local authorities