7 Key Indicators of Elder Abuse or Exploitation

Most of us grow up being taught that we should always respect our elders. Those who have reached an advanced age in their life are deserving of no less than dignity and kind regard. Unfortunately, due to the physical and mental decline inherent in the aging process, seniors are also one of the most vulnerable segments of our population, and there are always going to be people out there who seek to prey on the vulnerable. Understand the signs and read our article about 7 Key Indicators of Elder Abuse or Exploitation.

Elder abuse and exploitation is a serious problem, and we owe it to our aging loved ones to be vigilant and ensure they are kept safe from those who would seek to harm or take advantage of them. Below we have detailed seven key indicators that a senior is being abused or exploited in some way.

Unexplained Injuries

Physical injuries are one of the most obvious signs that a senior has been the victim of physical abuse. The unexplained or poorly explained appearance of bruises and scratches or even more severe injuries like broken bones may indicate that someone is causing that individual physical harm. Certainly, anyone can trip and fall and get a bruise, and seniors are particularly vulnerable to such mishaps, but if you notice a pattern of questionable injuries then you most certainly need to investigate further.

Poor Hygiene or Cleanliness

Seniors who rely on caregivers to help them with their everyday needs such as bathing or cleaning their living space are oftentimes susceptible to harmful neglect. Watch for issues with the senior’s hygiene such as untreated bed sores, a lack of acceptable clothing, or even just a lack of bathing that may indicate they are not getting the care they need.

Lack of Necessities

It is easy for many of us to take our living necessities for granted, but can you imagine not having food or clean water to drink, not having toilet paper or soap to clean yourself, and not having the physical or mental capability to do anything about it? When a senior is reliant on others for these type of necessities, a failure to provide them is a clear indicator of neglect.

Suspicious or Uncharacteristic Gifts and Purchases

Many seniors, and particularly those with cognitive disabilities like dementia, are susceptible to financial exploitation. There are those who would seek to take advantage of any degree of mental impairment by tricking seniors into giving them money and gifts, and others who may threaten or force a vulnerable senior into doing so. If you notice a senior giving away gifts or making purchases which are suspicious or uncharacteristic, it is possible they are being exploited.

Missing Money or Property

Unfortunately, theft is not uncommon in nursing homes and even by in home caregivers. Do your best to monitor bank accounts for unexplained withdrawals and try to keep tabs on the senior’s property when possible. If things are going missing, it could mean someone is taking them.

Withdrawn or Isolated

You also need to pay close attention to the senior’s disposition. If he or she is being victimized by any form of abuse, whether physical, emotional, or some sort of neglect, they may become withdrawn or depressed. Additionally, a caregiver who is committing abuse may attempt to keep the senior isolated from others in order to avoid exposing their transgressions.

Failures in Care

Obvious failures in care such as failing to administer medication could be an innocent mistake, or they could have more malicious intent. Either way, your loved one is too important to subject them to a caregiver who is not going to appropriately look after their needs. No matter the cause or intent, you probably need to take action if you know of any senior who is not getting the medical and everyday living care he or she needs.

If you suspect a loved one or any senior you know is being victimized or exploited, it is essential that you say something. Do not hesitate to contact the authorities, and please do not hesitate to contact the Amsberry Law Firm for the guidance you need to take appropriate legal action. Give us a call today.

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Written by Amsberry Law Firm

Amsberry Law Firm

Mr. Amsberry is board-certified in labor and employment law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He is a proven litigator who has argued before the United States 5th Circuit Court of Appeals and earned favorable outcomes in complex, precedent-setting employment and civil rights cases. He served as a reservist assistant judge advocate general in the U.S. Army and is a sought-after lecturer and speaker on a range of legal issues.

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