When Abuse Happens to the Elderly
When we think of abuse, we generally think of children or spousal abuse. But it can happen to the elderly, especially those in nursing homes. With 13 percent of the population over 65, elder abuse is becoming more and more frequent. According to the National Center for Elder Abuse, as of 2003, it was estimated that between 1 and 2 million Americans age 65 or older had been injured, exploited or mistreated by a caregiver. Although the NCEA says it’s unknown how often abuse or neglect happens to this population but the older a person is, the more likely they are abused. And how certain can you be if your loved one is being abused? Is that bruise on the arm because they bumped into a wall or because someone grabbed them?
To help you figure out the signs of abuse or neglect, here are some signs you should be on the lookout for:
- Fear or discomfort when nursing home staff are present
- Unusual behavior
- Becoming withdrawn
- Any cuts, bruises, or injuries
- Dehydration or malnourishment
- Being overly or under medicated
- Poor hygiene
- Unsanitary living conditions
And remember, always listen to your loved one. Abuse does not necessarily have to be physical. Sometimes it can be emotional as well. For more information on elder abuse, click here. If you feel like your loved one is being abused, contact us immediately. We will help prevent this from happening again.