When you entrust a loved one to another person’s supervision, you want to be absolutely certain that they are receiving respectful and compassionate care. Federal and state regulations dictate that long-term care facilities must provide their residents with a safe and supportive environment.

Whether your loved one is in the care of a professional or another family member, vigilance is critical. Sadly, some elderly Americans do not receive the care that they deserve, and “elder abuse” happens when an older person is mistreated or neglected by their caregiver.

It is important for family members and loved ones to know the signs that their loved one is being mistreated. The following are seven common signs of elder abuse:

1. Evidence of Neglect

Signs that an individual has not been cared for in a reasonable amount of time often constitute a red flag for abuse.

Elder neglect can result in many physical signs and symptoms, such as:

  • Bedsores, also called “pressure sores”
  • Dehydration or malnutrition from lack of food and water
  • Open or infected wounds
  • Evidence of falling accidents, such as bruising

A lack of clean living conditions may be another sign that a person is being neglected by their caretaker.

2. Physical Abuse Signs

When unwanted physical force is used on a patient or resident, it constitutes “physical abuse.”

Some of the most common signs of physical elder abuse include:

  • Unexplained bruises or burns
  • Black eyes
  • Fractures or broken bones

If your loved one exhibits these symptoms, question the relevant caretakers about exactly what brought them on.

3. Signs of Psychological Abuse

An elderly individual suffers from psychological or emotional abuse when non-physical harm is done to them. Psychological abuse often results in distress, emotional pain, or mental anguish.

Examples of psychological abuse can include:

  • Threats
  • Ridicule or ostracization
  • Intimidation
  • Emotional manipulation

Those who have been abused in this way may appear withdrawn or depressed.

4. Sexual Abuse

Any non-consensual contact of a sexual nature with an elderly individual constitutes abuse.

Sexual abuse signs include the following:

  • Bruised buttocks, breasts, or genitals
  • Unexplained bleeding of the genitals
  • Unexplained damage to undergarments
  • The development of a sexually transmitted infection
  • Depressed mood or anxiety

This type of abuse can be the result of coercion or manipulation by the perpetrator.

5. Financial Exploitation or Abuse

Financial abuse involves a caretaker stealing an elderly person’s material possessions or assets. This can involve withdrawing money from the person’s bank accounts without their consent.

In some cases, the perpetrator may lie or mislead the victim to gain access to their property. Elderly people who suffer from cognitive decline, Alzheimer’s, or dementia may be especially vulnerable to financial exploitation. Signs of this type of abuse include missing items or drastic shifts in the person’s finances.

6. Self-Neglect

Self-neglect occurs when an elderly person puts their own safety or well-being in jeopardy.

Examples may include:

  • Not eating or drinking enough
  • Wearing clothes that are dirty or inadequate for the weather
  • Failing to seek necessary medical care

It is important to keep an eye out for signs of self-neglect in elderly individuals. Reliable caregivers will notice the symptom and take action quickly.

7. Abandonment

This type of abuse occurs when a caregiver completely abandons the patient. When a care provider leaves an elderly individual in a public space or medical facility, it constitutes abandonment. This is a tragic possibility for those with Alzheimer’s disease or other conditions and can lead to reduced mental capacity.

What to Do After Spotting the Signs of Elder Abuse

It is critical to hold perpetrators responsible following instances of elder neglect or abuse. Speak with a Kentucky nursing home abuse attorney if this issue has affected you.

Contact Our Personal Injury Law Firm in Lexington Today To Get More Information

If you’ve been injured in a personal injury, please call Minner Vines Injury Lawyers, PLLC for a free case evaluation with a personal injury lawyer or contact us online.

Minner Vines Injury Lawyers, PLLC
325 W Main St #210, Lexington, KY 40507
(859) 550-2900