As your loved ones age, it’s important to make sure they are receiving the care and special attention they deserve. In most cases, families will look for a clean and safe assisted living facility or a trustworthy aide to provide homecare. Unfortunately, there’s always a risk that comes with putting your loved ones lives into the hands of another.
According to Las Vegas elder abuse lawyer, Jamie Cogburn, “…A staggering 188,599 compaints about elder abuse were filed in a recent year”. Here are the 4 types of elder abuse a family member or friend may be experiencing and what steps you should take.
The improper or illegal use of an elderly person’s finances and assets is defined as elder financial abuse or exploitation. This can include the handling of the senior’s property and bank accounts in a way that is not beneficial to the owner. In some cases, the fragile mindset of an older individual can make them easy targets to be pressured to sign financial documents and fall prey to identity theft and other money related scams.
It’s important to keep an eye out for signs of financial abuse including missing possessions, unauthorized transfers and withdrawals, and recent revisions to an estate plan or will. Also, put a trusted party or attorney in charge of the finances to prevent any financial abuse.
Considered to be the caregiver’s refusal to provide for the necessary care of an elder, neglect can be intentional or unintentional. Examples include bed sores or skin rashes, weight loss, malnutrition, and lack of medical aids such as glasses or dentures. Neglect can also be self-inflicted due to a refusal to seek outside assistance or help for untreated or unattended injuries.
Regularly check the person for physical signs of neglect and help implement good personal hygiene routines, as well as keeping their living space uncluttered, safe and sanitary.
Done with the intention to inflict anguish or pain through verbal and non-verbal actions, psychological and emotional abuse can be just as damaging as physical abuse. Signs of emotional and psychological abuse include nervous tics, increased levels of stress, non-responsive and problems sleeping.
Having an open line of communication is important if you have a loved one living in the care of another. Be sure to check in regularly and look for both vocal and non-vocal signs of emotional and psychological abuse.
Physical abuse is the intentional use of force that results in injury, impairment and pain. Actions such as striking, shaking, restraining or force feeding an elderly victim are a few of the many types of physical abuse that can happen. Check for bruising, lacerations, burn marks, depression, and fearfulness of caregivers as signs for physical abuse.
Discovering that your family member or friend has been a victim of elder abuse can be heartbreaking and leave you feeling helpless. It’s critical to take the necessary steps to distance your loved one from their abuser and take action with the help of the authorities.
Updated: September 19, 2019