As your loved ones age, it’s only natural to start worrying about their well-being – and not without cause. Even a relatively spry senior can fall victim to predators, and seniors with mental or physical limitations are even more vulnerable to elder abuse.
Most people don’t realize that elder abuse can take a multitude of forms – but all of them can have horrifying consequences for your loved one’s future. Some of the most common forms of elder abuse are:
Sometimes seniors are simply “dumped” outside of hospitals or care facilities or left with virtual strangers because their caretakers no longer want to be responsible for them. This can quickly turn into an emergency situation and put the senior at great risk of harm.
Neglect happens when a senior’s caretakers don’t do what they should. This is typically seen in nursing homes or when there’s home care involved. While not outright physically abusive, caregivers may basically ignore the senior’s mental, physical and medical needs, allowing them to suffer from malnutrition, bed sores and more.
Some caretakers seem to delight in having power over their charges – and they wield it in despicable ways. They may threaten, intimidate or mock a senior in their care, leading to depression and other mental health issues.
When someone appropriates or misuses a senior’s assets, that’s financial abuse. If a senior’s bank account starts to be drained or their jewelry and other possessions are missing, it’s time to worry.
This is any type of force used against a senior to punish them or control their behavior. It can include everything from the unnecessary use of physical or chemical restraints to slaps and punches. Signs of physical abuse include unexplainable bruises or sprains, burns, cuts, dislocated joints and broken bones.
Self-neglect happens when a senior can no longer handle their own basic daily needs. They may stop maintaining their basic hygiene, forgo medical care, clean their home or even feed themselves properly. Without someone to step in, their health can deteriorate quickly.
If you think someone you love is a victim of elder abuse, don’t second-guess yourself. Find out more about what legal action can be taken to protect them from further harm.