Healthy Aging For Baby Boomers
 

How To Recognize Elderly Abuse


How To Recognize Elderly Abuse. Child abuse gets plenty of recognition in the news. Another form of abuse that may not be quite as well publicized is elder abuse.

This form of abuse happens to thousands of older people every year, and can happen at home, in medical facilities, and in residential centers anywhere there are older people who may not be able to defend themselves and their rights.

Elder abuse is not limited to dementia patients or to the extremely old. It is also not limited to merely physical abuse denying someone their personal safety or rights is also a form of abuse, as is mismanagement of finances and neglect.

For example, an elderly person could have a private nurse who comes in to assist them. If that nurse were to take some of the prescriptions to sell, and causing the patient not to receive the proper dose, this is a form of abuse.

The Administration On Aging suggests that anytime you suspect abuse it should be reported to the adult protective services agency in your area. Calls can be made anonymously. By making yourself familiar with the warning signs of abuse, you can make a difference in your community.

Elder abuse is a broad term that can cover a variety of abuses. Physical abuse is inflicting pain or injury or depriving someone of a basic need. Non-consensual sexual contact is considered sexual abuse. Mental and/or emotional pain can be constituted as emotional or psychological abuse.

Elder abuse can also come in the form of financial or material exploitation, neglect in the form of refusal or failure to provide for basic needs, self-neglect when an elderly person threatens their own safety, and abandonment when someone who is caring for the person deserts them.

Any senior can be a target for abuse. Most victims are women, though it can also happen to men. Many older people feel that they have no right to complain and should suffer without saying anything, so you may have to watch for signs.   

Healthy Living

What is worse, between 20 and 30 percent of those injuries will mean loss of mobility and independence. As we age, our bones become more brittle and are easily broken. Aging adults may also experience problems with seeing and their sense of balance may begin to fail. It's important to keep homes safe for you or your parents to prevent injuries that could seriously affect their life span and quality of life.

Like many abuse victims, they may feel that they did something to be treated in such a fashion. You should never be afraid to speak up, provided that you keep in mind that someone can refuse help. Even seemingly minor incidents can escalate if they go unchecked, so anytime that you suspect abuse you should do something about it.

There are certain warning signs that you can watch out for. Bruises, pressure marks, broken bones, and other signs of injuries can be signs of abuse, neglect, or mistreatment. A person who suddenly withdraws from the things they like to do or suffer from an unexplained depression may be a victim of emotional abuse. Bruising on the breast or genitals can signal sexual abuse. An unexplained change in financial situations can come from exploitation.

Exercise your brain. Keeping your brain young and healthy can have a major affect upon the quality of life you can expect as you age.

Unattended medical needs, bad hygiene, and bedsores can be signs of neglect. Tense relationships and frequent arguments can also be signs. Take time to pay attention to the elderly people in your life whether it is a friend, family member, or even yourself. If you suspect abuse, speak up it really will make a difference.

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