Do you know the real signs of elder abuse?

Statistics show that approximately 5 million elderly Americans suffer from some form of elder abuse each year. Elder abuse is defined as “undertaking intentional actions that result in the harm or risk of harm to an elderly person by a trusted person or caregiver of an elderly person.” Mistreatment can be defined as “ acts of commission or acts of omission”, such as neglect.

Elder abuse can include physical, emotional, mental, and sexual abuse, as well as financial exploitation, neglect, and abandonment. The warning signs of elder abuse include:

  • Bruises, pressure marks, cuts and abrasions, broken bones, burns
  • Social withdrawal, unusual and sudden changes in alertness and onset of depression
  • Development of agitatation, violent, or repetitive behaviors as a possible sign of trauma
  • Sudden changes in financial situations such as large withdrawals from bank accounts
  • Bedsores, poor hygiene, soiled clothing, unusual weight loss

Looking deeper

Elder abuse can occur in many settings and can be perpetrated by a spouse, children, and/or other family members. Abuse and neglect can be perpetrated by caregivers at nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

Many elderly people who are experiencing elder abuse are too scared or embarrassed to talk about it it or can’t discuss or even recognize that they are, indeed, victims of abuse due to diminished mental capabilities from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

If you suspect that a loved one or a friend is the victim of elder abuse, you need to be vigilant and know what to look for in order to keep them safe from harm. While many signs of elder abuse are visible such as broken bones, cuts and bruises, you may have to look deeper for the signs of emotional, verbal, mental, and sexual abuse as well as neglect and financial

Nursing homes and their staff can be held liable for injuries suffered by people under their care due to negligence or abuse. At the Law Offices of Scott S. Harris, we work with local agencies to investigate any claims of nursing home abuse and neglect. This involves gathering evidence such as medical records, patient logs, and photos of injuries, to determine the exact cause of a patient’s injuries.

Getting help now

Elder abuse takes an incredibly heavy toll on its victims. Statistics have shown that abused elders have a 300% higher risk of death when compared to non-abused individuals. The costs associated with elder abuse and fraud range in the billions each year.

At the San Diego law firm of elder abuse attorney, Scott S. Harris, we understand just how vulnerable the elderly members of our society are to abuse and neglect. If you start to see the signs of elder abuse in a friend or family member and are concerned about what to do, contact our office immediately to schedule an free initial consultation.

The Law Offices of Scott S. Harris defend the rights of nursing home patients and elderly individuals throughout Southern California.