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Uncovering Elder Abuse: What to Look For

As medical care improves and the American diet features better nutrition and self-care, people are living longer then ever before. The news is constantly featuring elderly citizens celebrating their 100th birthday and beyond, and many people live to see the births of their great grandchildren. Unfortunately, not everybody who reaches that age is able to provide for their own care or to live independently. This forces families to either take their loved ones into their own homes or to place them into the care of long-term care facilities. With more and more people choosing nursing homes, the incidence of elder abuse and neglect is on the rise. No matter how carefully you investigate a nursing home, there is always the chance that the worst will happen and your loved one will become a victim of elder abuse. The best way for adult children and loved ones to safeguard against this and uncover elder abuse is to know what to look for and act quickly when you suspect abuse. The attorneys at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers have a long record of standing up for the rights of those who have been hurt by neglect or abuse. We want you to know what to look for so that you can effectively protect your loved one.

There are several different forms that elder abuse can take. These include physical abuse, sexual abuse, neglect and exploitation. Elderly residents of nursing homes can also suffer as a result of emotional abuse. Each of these types of abuse has its own red flags, and all of them are emotionally devastating to witness, but it is important that you remain vigilant, ask questions and stay alert for any of these signs:

  • Physical injuries such as pressure marks, broken or fractured bones, burns, bruises, abrasions and lacerations
  • Emotional and social withdrawal, including refusing to participate in activities that were previously enjoyed, depression, and a shift in mood or level of alertness
  • Abrasions, bruising, tearing or redness around the genitals or breasts. Sexual abuse can also be detected with the appearance of a sexually transmitted disease.
  • Changes, whether gradual or sudden, in the holdings in bank accounts
  • Bedsores, poor hygiene, weight loss or confusion, medical needs that are ignored or unattended to

One of the saddest and most heart-breaking early signs of elder abuse is the change that is visible in loved ones. Family members and friends who were previously enthusiastic, engaged, and enlivened by visitors instead retreat and appear fearful, particularly if they are in the presence of their abuser. If you have seen indications that make you suspect that abuse is happening, it is essential that you take action immediately. If you are able to speak to the nursing home resident and ask them what is going on, then do so. If not, seek help from an experienced knowledgeable advocate who can help you get them into a safe place and get them compensation for any injuries that they have suffered. The attorneys at Jonathan Perkins Injury Lawyers are here to help.