How are you going to deal with How to Deal with an Elderly Abuse and Neglect situation especially if that victim is someone you love?
If you suspect strange changes happening on someone you love, it could be a sign ofElderly Abuse and Neglect. And whether you like it or not, these things could happen. There are hundreds of thousands of elderly people being reportedly (including the unreported) victimized on different forms of abuse, exploitation, and negligence by either a nursing home staff or in a worst case scenario, by a family member and even friends.
These victims can be a male or female in their senior year of over 60 years old. They are most commonly vulnerable and frail that they don’t have the capacity to defend themselves and considering their situation, they are supposedly dependent on others to meet their everyday basic needs in terms of shelter, food, and care.
So if there’s any indication of an elderly abuse, it is only best to act on it right away before it’s too late.
What are the common types and warning signs of an elderly abuse, negligence, and exploitation?
It is an intentional use of force against the elder resulting to injury, pain, and impairment.
If there are unexplained signs of injury such as:
- Bruises, welts or scars and broken bones, dislocations or sprains
- Continuing use of broken glasses and frames with signs of restraints like bruise marks on the wrists and neck
But physical abuse in not limited to hitting or shoving but it also includes:
- Inappropriate drug use or excessive dosage/overdose
- Apparent failure to take treatments and medications regularly
- Restraints and confinement or isolation
EMOTIONAL OR PSYCHOLOGICAL ABUSE
In a manner of speaking or treating an elder may also cause an emotional or psychological abuse that will cause emotional pain and distress.
The indications may include:
- Humiliation and ridicule
- Habitual blaming and scapegoating
- Ignoring or neglecting the elder person
- Isolating an elder for family, friends, and activities
- Intimidation or Terrorizing through yelling and threats
- Behavior that mimics dementia like rocking, sucking and mumbling to oneself
Physical contact without the elder’s consent can be a sign of harassment and abuse.
There are several possible signs of sexual abuse like:
- Any physical sex acts and harassment or forcing the elder to undress
- Showing an elder person pornographic materials or watch sex acts
- Any unexplained vaginal or anal bleeding
- Any venereal disease or genital infections
- Bruises around breasts or genitals
- Torn and presence of blood stains in the underclothing
NEGLECT AND ABANDONMENT
This kind of abuse is quite commonly seen in nursing homes under the care of a nursing home staff. This abuse constitutes more than half of all the reported cases of elderly abuse victims.
These neglect and abandonment may involve:
- Unsafe living conditions
- Desertion of the victim in a public place
- The failure to fulfill a caretaking duty and obligation
- An unusual weight loss, malnutrition, and dehydration
- Ignorance or denial of proper care like unsanitary living conditions and poor hygiene.
- Untreated illness and diseases or physical problems such as bedsores, pressure sores, and ulcer
This includes unauthorized use of the victim’s fund or property by guardians (such as family, relatives or friends), caregivers or even strangers.
Unscrupulous guardians or caregivers might:
- Misuse of victim’s checks, credit cards, and accounts or use it for personal use.
- Identity theft or forge the victim’s signature
- Missing cash
- Steals cash and income checks or pensions may show significant withdrawals from the victim’s account
- Abrupt changes in victim’s financial condition and suspicious change in wills, property titles, power of attorney, and policies
Strangers or racketeer’s abuse may include:
- Investment and charity fraud
- Phony prize or lottery claim
Healthcare abuse and fraud can only be carried out by healthcare providers and professionals. These are considered as an unethical act by doctors, nurses, professional health care providers and hospital personnel.
Examples of Healthcare misconduct includes:
- Medicare and Medicaid fraud
- Under or overmedicating the victims
- Unauthorized charges of Healthcare that has not been provided to victims
- Overcharging medical care and services
- Fraudulent treatments and remedies for illness and other medical conditions
Elder abuse is considered as an extremely complex and complicated problem. Below is a list of some of the possible factors that might have caused elder abuse.
- Caregiver stress: Individuals who do not have the necessary skills or resources and who aren’t prepared to be a caregiver may experience stress which may lead to elder abuse.
- Dependency or impairment of older adults:Individuals in poor health are more likely to be abused than those who are in relatively good health. Caregivers who are financially dependent on the older adult are also more likely to abuse.
- External stress: The same things that cause child abuse and spousal abuse can also cause elder abuse: financial problems, job stress, family problems, etc.
- Social isolation: Again, the same social isolation that produces the child and spousal abuse can also cause elder abuse. Social isolation is both an indicator of potential abuse as well as a potential contributing cause.
- Intergenerational violence: When violence is learned as a form of acceptable behavior in childhood, that child now in the role of caregiver is simply returning the abuse they suffered.
- Personal problems of the abuser: Caregivers who have such problems as alcoholism, substance abuse or behavior health problems are more likely to become an abuser than those who don’t have such problems.
You may also check these guides (PDF Files):
Guide to Identify an Elder Abuse Cases: A Guide for Older Adults and People Who Care for Them
Sample Elder Abuse Cases: CASE HISTORIES OF ELDER ABUSE AND NEGLECT
Winning Elder Abuse Cases: Prosecuting Elder Abuse Cases and Litigating Elder Abuse and Neglect Cases in Oregon
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO PREVENT OR PURSUIT JUSTICE
As a concerned family member or friend, there are certain ways to prevented further abuse or justice claims that you can do.
Here are 6 ways you can do when you find any suspicious signs of elder abuse and neglect:
Start by checking the suspected victim’s medication and check the amount in the vial if it varies by the date and time of prescription.
Check the victim’s bank accounts and credit card accounts for unauthorized charges and transactions and keeps records for evidence if there are any signs of financial abuse.
Call and visit as often and in an unprecedented time. See if there’s any suspicious activity and if there are any warning signs present.
Immediately report suspected abuse for investigation especially if there are positive warning signs.
You may consult a personal injury attorney that offers free consultation and advice and even hire them by checking their credibility on winning an elderly abuse and neglect case.
If someone is in immediate danger, call 911 or the local police for immediate help. If the danger is not immediate, but you suspect that abuse has occurred or is occurring, please tell someone. To report elder abuse, contact the Adult Protective Services (APS) agency in the state where the elder resides. You can find the APS reporting number for each state by visiting: The Eldercare Locator website or calling (215) 392-6616.
When our loved one is under the care of somebody else, it’s our duty to make sure that they are in good hands; provided with everything they needed on a daily basis; and most of all, the attention they deserve.