How to Deal With Elder Abuse
Do you know what to do if you suspect elder abuse? First you must understand what
elder abuse is and how to spot it.
Types of Abuse
Elder abuse is the abuse of a retired aged individual in a nursing facility or in his or her
own home. There are many types of elder abuse: financial, physical including sexual,
verbal, and neglectful.
Financial abuse is illegally accessing someone’s financial assets or taking personal
property. It may also include coercing an elderly person to change his or her Will.
Physical abuse includes any physical harm including pushing, pulling, hitting or sexually
assaulting a person. Verbal abuse means threatening an elderly person with harm. Neglect
of an elderly person in a nursing home or by a care giver constitutes malnourishment,
poor care of hygiene and not providing proper clothing.
Signs of Abuse
Detecting elder abuse is not always easy. You must look for the signs, especially if your
loved one does not have the mental ability to notify you of the abuse. To determine if
your family member is facing physical or verbal abuse look for changes in behavior
especially around caregivers or other nursing home residents. Signs of neglect may be
easier to spot. Monitor your loved ones appearance. Does he or she appear malnourished?
Speaking with your loved one may be the best way to determine if elder abuse has
occurred. If you are unable to get a response, you may also wish to speak with other
residents or facility workers.
What to Do
If an act of elder abuse has occurred you must notify the police immediately. Contacting
your local social services may also be helpful. It is a good idea to hire an attorney at this
time. You will need one, especially if the nursing home is part of a large corporation.
During this time it may be wise to move your loved one to another nursing facility.
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