Elder Abuse – What are the Signs?

There is a short but solid article in a New Jersey paper today addressing the signs of elder abuse. New Jersey attorney Victoria Dalton lays out the real world signs and symptoms of elder abuse, which she defines simply as taking advantage of the elderly.

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse is simply the use of physical force which causes bodily injury, pain or some other type of impairment. It can also include hitting, shaking, slapping, kicking, or pinching. The signs to be aware of include bruises, broken limbs, welts, cuts, burns or marks.

I would add neglect to this list. Neglect is the failure to provide case and often reveals itself in incidents of malnutrition and dehydration, pressure sores, untreated infections. In realty, any unexplained injury, infection, or death can be a sign of physical abuse or neglect.

Financial Abuse

Financial abuse is more subtle, and is essentially the improper use of the senior’s funds, property or assets. A common indicator of financial abuse is when the elder’s contribution to household services is disproportionately high when compared to an adult child living in the home. Another tell-tale sign is a change in banking habits. Be aware of any large withdrawals by a person accompanying the senior.

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse typically includes intimidation, humiliation and harassment. Degrading remarks, or treating the elder like an infant, giving the older person the silent treatment, are also examples of emotional elder abuse.

Elder abuse can be stopped, Dalton writes, if we are simply more vigilant.

The nursing home malpractice lawyers at Walton Law Firm LLP provide free consultations to individuals and families who believe a loved one has suffered from abuse or neglected in a nursing home or residential care setting.

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