5 Signs of Elder Abuse and What You Can Do

elder abuse lawyer

You never want to admit that your loved one could be a victim of elder abuse. Unfortunately, it’s a reality for far too many elderly individuals placed in nursing homes. Careful selection of the right nursing home is a good preventative step, however, it can be present even in the best elderly living homes. Keeping your eyes open to the signs of elder abuse is one of the best ways to ensure the safety of your loved one.

What is Elder Abuse?

Elder abuse is defined as any form of mistreatment, neglect, or exploitation of an elderly person. But, what are the signs of elder abuse? It can occur in various forms such as physical, psychological, financial, and sexual abuse. Elder abuse is more common than it has ever been—1 in 10 individuals over the age of 60 has been a victim of elder abuse. But, there are things you can do to make sure your loved one is safe. One of the best things you can do is to watch for signs.

5 Signs Your Loved One is Experiencing Elder Abuse

Withdrawn/Depressed Behaviors

If your loved one has demonstrated withdrawn behaviors or appears depressed, this could be a sign of abuse. They may become more isolated or appear to have lost interest in their hobbies and usual activities. If you notice these things, it may be a good time to start asking questions.

Unexplained Bruises, Burns, or Scars

Bruises, burns, or scars with no explanation as to how they got them is a major warning that something could be wrong. These marks may be signs of physical abuse and should not be ignored. If these injuries continue, getting an elder abuse lawyer involved is key to protecting your loved one.

Unexplained Bed Sores

Bed sores are a sign of neglect and should be taken seriously. They can be painful and even life-threatening if left untreated. Neglect is serious—do not be afraid to get involved quickly and hire an elder abuse lawyer to help you fight for the life of your loved one.

If Your Loved One is Dirty or Dehydrated

The signs of elder abuse can be hard to spot, but keeping your eyes peeled for things like, dehydration or soiled clothing are clear signs of elder abuse. If you notice your loved one is not receiving the proper care they need and deserve, then it may be time to reach out for help on behalf of your loved one.

Falsely Medicated

If you notice that your loved one is being medicated for reasons other than prescribed by a doctor, this could be a sign of elder abuse. False medication can include wrong dosages, wrong medications, or even a medication that is not necessary. If you suspect this is happening, it is important to act quickly and contact an elder abuse lawyer for help.

Sudden Financial Changes

One sign of elder abuse can be sudden changes in the finances of your loved one. It could be strange withdrawals or transfers from their bank accounts, changes to their will, or other potential signs. If you suspect financial elder abuse is occurring, you should contact an elder abuse lawyer immediately.

What You Can Do

If you suspect that your family member is a victim of elder abuse, quick action is key. There are things you can do to get it taken care of as soon as possible. Following these steps will help ensure that your loved one gets the necessary help, care, and relief.

1. Stay Alert

Consider the signs mentioned above. Is anything out of the ordinary? If so, be ready to act.

2. Document Everything

One of the best ways to help your loved one is to document any signs or symptoms of elder abuse. These can be especially useful when it comes to filing a legal claim. Make sure to keep all important documents such as financial records and medical records in one place.

3. Talk to Your Loved One

Ask your loved one directly if they are experiencing any abuse or neglect. Let them know that you are there to support and help them in any way you can. Sometimes, elderly family members will open up about what they are experiencing—other times you may not get clear communication. What matters is that they know that you are there for them.

4. Get an Elder Abuse Lawyer

An elder abuse lawyer can help protect your loved one and make sure their rights are respected. They will help you understand the legal system and how to best advocate for your loved one. Do not wait to get an elder abuse lawyer involved. You can help your loved one—and you can do it quickly.

Choose Care, Choose PMHP

When your elderly family member is experiencing elder abuse, you’ll want to act quickly for their best interests. At PMHP, you will find elder abuse lawyers who will fight for the rights and the overall health of your loved one. You can expect attention to detail, years of experience, and responsive care. If you’re worried about your elderly family member, contact us for a free consultation today.