Elder abuse is a problem that is seen across the country. Each year, there are horrible and devastating reports of abuse to some of the most vulnerable members of our society.
While abuse in nursing homes and assisted living facilities is common, you may not realize that family members are the most common perpetrators of elderly abuse.
The risk of elder abuse by family members
Many seniors rely on family members and other trusted people to help them with day-to-day life. Unfortunately, not all family members have the loved one’s best interests in mind. This level of dependence often opens elderly individuals up to abuse.
Along with being dependent on the care of family members, elderly individuals are also at risk of abuse if they have memory issues like Alzheimer’s or dementia.
Types of abuse perpetrated by family members
Just like other situations when elder abuse occurs, when family members perpetrate it, it can take on several forms.
Elder abuse by family members includes emotional abuse, sexual abuse, neglect, physical abuse and more. Since elderly family members rely on others for care, food, company and other basic needs, evidence of abuse may go on unseen by others. The elderly individual may also be intimidated by the perpetrator, which keeps them from saying anything about what is happening.
Acting against elderly abuse
It is important to watch for signs of abuse. This could be physical signs like bruises and sores, emotional signs like being withdrawn around certain people and more. When visiting with an elderly loved one, watch for signs of a problem and be sure to report it if necessary. You can seek compensation for the abuse that has occurred on your loved one’s behalf, and in some situations, criminal charges may be pursued against the perpetrator.