When people hear reports of elder abuse and neglect, most people think of this as occurring in institutionalized settings such as nursing homes and assisted living facilities. The sobering statistics indicate that most instances of elder abuse take place at the hands of family and loved ones. Even fewer of this kind of abuse is reported – many find it difficult to report a loved one for fear of them getting in trouble and the elder being left without support or assistance. Item Live reports on some of the warning signs of elder abuse.
A National Elder Abuse Incidence study showed that nine out of every ten instances of elder abuse and neglect were perpetrated by family members.
Some of the warning signs of physical abuse can be unexplained bruises and other injuries. Poorly treated or untreated injuries are another sign of physical abuse. Broken bones and burns are yet another sign that there may be physical abuse occurring in the home.
Another common form of elder abuse is emotional or mental elder abuse. Seeing someone who is threatening or belittling an elder person is one sign that this abuse is taking place. The elder person may show signs of dementia such as rocking, sucking, and mumbling to themselves.
Another form of elder abuse is keeping the elder from being able to communicate with others. The caregiver may not allow the elder to have any contact while they are nor present. They may also show signs of being hesitant when asked certain questions. They may also display fear of caregivers in cases of abuse.
These are all just some ways that elder abuse can become apparent. If you see signs of elder abuse, contact your local Family and Children’s services department or contact the police.