No matter how much you want to be there to take care of your loved ones, this is often not possible. This is why many elders are sent to nursing homes or are cared for by those outside of their circle of loved ones. When it comes to the care and treatment of your loved one, you should always be aware of the potential for issues to arise. In particular, elder care abuse is a relatively common occurrence among aging family members who are being cared for by paid professionals. Given that some elderly people may struggle to communicate, have memory issues, etc., they may not be able to tell you when they are being abused. With that in mind, here is a list of signs that your loved one is being abused.
Conditions Conducive to Abuse
Before we delve into the signs that your loved one is being abused or neglected, you should be aware of the fact that there are certain conditions that are more conducive to abuse than others. However, aging, in general, can be enough to weaken our defenses and leave us susceptible to abuse of all kinds. Either way, there are a couple of conditions common to elderly people that makes it much more likely for a caregiver to abuse or neglect them. They are as follows:
- Alzheimer’s patients: Given that Alzheimer’s is a degenerative brain disease that causes dementia and loss of memory, this condition is highly conducive to abuse. Alzheimer’s causes people to become agitated and disoriented, and it also makes it likely that they may become lost or wander off. These are symptoms that put caregivers in a position to either neglect them or abuse them. On the one hand, they may become frustrated and abuse them on purpose. On the other hand, if the facility is not being secured properly, the resident could wander off and become injured or end up missing.
- Dementia patients: On the other hand, those who have dementia also suffer from memory loss and disorientation. This causes them to need extra special care and attention to help them stay healthy and safe. Nevertheless, these symptoms can cause caregivers to become frustrated and abuse them purposely. Also, if these caregivers can also become lax and fail to protect them from injury or prevent them from wandering off.
Signs Your Elderly Loved One is Being Abused
When it comes to elderly abuse, the signs may not always be immediately evident. Indeed, since there are so many different types of abuse, you may mistake the signs of abuse as symptoms of their medical issues. If you are concerned that your loved one may be getting abused by a caregiver, there are plenty of signs to be on the lookout for. Some of which are:
- Poor hygiene: One tell-tale sign that your loved one is being abused is that they seem to have poor hygiene. Caregivers are tasked with making sure that their patients are practicing good hygiene, even if this means they must perform these actions themselves. So, if your loved one is under the care of a medical professional and has poor hygiene, this is a major sign that they are being neglected or abused.
- Injuries such as cuts, bruises, or broken bones: Although accidents happen, there is no excuse for your loved ones to be constantly covered in cuts, bruises, etc. If your loved one has unexplained injuries or seems to always be suffering from cuts, bruises, broken bones, etc., this is certainly worth looking into.
- Weight loss or malnourishment: Additionally, unexplained weight loss can be a major sign that your loved one is being abused or neglected. The caregiver is supposed to make sure your loved one is eating nutritious meals, even if they have to feed them or insert an IV. If your loved one is losing weight or seems malnourished, they may be getting abused or neglected by the caregiver.
- Unexplained transactions or loss of money: Another major sign that your loved one is being abused is that they have unexplained transactions or there seems to be lots of money missing. Some caregivers take the opportunity to prey on the weakened state of elders. They may trick them into spending money on them or outright force them to.
- Becoming withdrawn from family members or friends: If your loved one seems aloof or otherwise withdrawn, this may be a sign that they are being neglected or abused. Abuse causes trauma. Sometimes people are not mentally able to process what is happening to them or speak out about it. Therefore, some loved ones may seem withdrawn when they are suffering from abuse.
Types of Elderly Abuse
While many people tend to think of elderly abuse as purely physical, there are quite a few different types of abuse that can be inflicted on your loved one. Moreover, it is also possible for them to be suffering from multiple types of abuse at once. If you are wondering about the various types of elder abuse, they are as follows:
- Sexual Abuse
- Medical Neglect
- Financial Abuse
- General Neglect
- Medication Mismanagement
- Emotional Abuse
- Psychological Abuse
- Physical Abuse
- Nutritional Neglect
Need Help Filing an Elderly Neglect or Abuse Case?
If you suspect a loved one is being abused by a caregiver, you have options. Here at the Law Offices of Roger S. Weinberg, we provide you with passionate professionals who will stop at nothing to make sure your loved one gets justice. Rather than simply switching caregivers or trying to get answers on your own, a qualified attorney can help make sure your loved one gets justice. If you are worried that your loved one is suffering elderly neglect or abuse, contact us today to find out how we can serve you. When you discover your elderly loved one is being abused, you may feel powerless. However, there is no need to feel this way. By contacting a qualified attorney, you can take your power back and protect your aging loved one.