Know The Signs: How To Identify Four Types Of Elder Abuse
When you make the decision to move your loved one into a nursing home, you do so expecting them to be given the care and support they need. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse is more prevalent than you might expect. In fact, statistics show that there are about 2 million cases of elder abuse reported every year. The same statistics go on to show that about 1 out of every 10 elderly people will experience some form of abuse. While your loved one is in a nursing home, you'll be their first line of defense against abuse. In order to protect your loved one from elder abuse, you need to know the warning signs, and be prepared to act. Elder abuse can come in the form of physical, emotional, financial, and sexual actions. Here are some ways to identify each type of abuse.
When it comes to elder abuse, physical will often be the easiest to identify. Physical abuse is identified through visible wounds on your loved ones body, such as bruises, cuts, or burns. However, physical abuse is also apparent through bed sores, especially those that are infected. If you suspect that your loved one has been physically abused, take a look at their entire body. Look for fresh wounds, or wounds that are in the process of healing. It's also important that you look for scars that your loved one didn't use to have. Those scars could signify wounds that have already healed. Pay close attention to your loved ones wrists and ankles. If they have bruising, or abrasion wounds around their wrists and ankles, they could be getting restrained while you're not present.
Psychological abuse isn't as easy to notice as physical abuse. However, if you know what you're looking for, you should be able to spot the signs. If your loved one has become uncommunicative when you come to visit, or visits normally until someone enters the room, there may be a cause for concern. This is particularly true if your loved one has stopped participating in activities that they once enjoyed.
Financial abuse is a form of abuse that many people don't look for. If you've noticed unusual purchases on your loved ones bank accounts, or large sums of money are disappearing, your loved one may be the victim of financial abuse. Take a look at the transactions. If they're occurring at a time, or place, that would be impossible for your loved one to be present, or the signatures don't look right on your loved ones canceled checks, you should speak to an attorney.
No one wants to think about their loved one being sexually abused. Unfortunately, elder sexual abuse is more common than you might think. If your loved one has developed a sexually transmitted disease, has developed vaginal or anal bleeding, or is suddenly missing many of their undergarments, you should have them examined by their primary care physician. If they show signs of sexual abuse, file a police report immediately, and contact an attorney. It's also important that you make arrangements to move your loved one to a new facility immediately.