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Spotting the Warning Signs of Elder Abuse

Posted on in Personal Injury

elder abuse, San Jose elder abuse attorneys, elderly loved ones, abuse, nursing homeMost of us lead busy lives, juggling the demands of work while providing for our families. If you have elderly loved ones, it can be challenging making sure they get the care and attention they need.

Sadly, elder abuse has become an increasingly common problem in Northern California and other areas, regardless of whether your family members are in a nursing home or long-term care facility or receive outside help within their own home. It is important to be aware of the types of elder abuse which most commonly occur, as well as the signs that your loved one may be a victim.

Common Types of Elder Abuse

The National Council on Aging (NCOA) reports that as many as one out of every 10 citizens in the U.S. over the age of 60 has experienced some form of abuse, amounting to as many as five million people each year. Unfortunately, only one out of every 14 of these cases is reported to law enforcement, and it is often up to family members to realize that abuse is occurring.

If you have a family member living in a nursing home, assisted living facility, or if he or she has in house providers, then it is important to be aware of the types of elder abuse which are common. These include:

  • Physical abuse, such as hitting, slapping, pushing, or pinching;
  • Sexual abuse, which includes harassment and intimate contact;
  • Emotional abuse, such as verbal threats and put downs;
  • Confinement, in which an older adult is isolated or restrained without adequate reason;
  • Neglect, which involves depriving a person of medical care, food, personal hygiene, or attention;
  • Deprivation, which may involve withholding medications or access to needed medical devices;
  • Financial exploitation, which may involve stealing, fraud, or misusing funds.

Sadly, it is not always strangers who are guilty of elder abuse. The NCOA reports that in 60 percent of all cases, the abuser is a friend or family member.

Knowing the Signs of Abuse

Many older adults are too ashamed or afraid to admit that abuse is occurring. To protect your loved ones, it is important to be aware of the signs. Help Guide advises being alert for the following:

  • Unexplained bruises, broken bones, or other injuries;
  • Worsening medical conditions without a reasonable explanation;
  • Increasingly withdrawn or depressed behavior;
  • A disheveled appearance, losing weight, or the existence of bedsores;
  • Increased anxiety or agitation in the presence of certain people;
  • Unexplained loss of money or property;
  • Behavior that may mimic dementia, such as rocking or thumb sucking; and
  • Dehydration, malnutrition, infections, and other signs of neglect.

If you suspect elder abuse your first steps should be to report it to your local law enforcement, as well as to the supervisor and administrator for any care providers. Make alternate arrangements to ensure your loved one’s safety, and contact the Jachimowicz Law Group as soon as possible.

Our passionate San Jose elder abuse attorneys can advise you on the best course of action in your situation, and can assist you in holding responsible parties accountable. Contact our office today and request a free, confidential consultation to see how we can help.

Sources:

https://www.ncoa.org/public-policy-action/elder-justice/elder-abuse-facts/

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/abuse/elder-abuse-and-neglect.htm

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