According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), one in 10 Americans over 60 years old has experienced elderly abuse. Some experts believe that around five million people over the age of 60 are abused each year. Of course, there are different types of abuse elder persons can experience. These forms of abuse include:
- Confinement, and
- Financial exploitation.
With the United States’ population continuing to grow older, more and more elderly people find themselves being cared for by others. Due to the amount of time caregivers and elderly patients spend together, abuse is something that occurs more than many would like to believe.
But what are the signs of elderly abuse?
Elderly abuse is often hidden and not apparent on the surface. This can be due to the pressure that has been exerted on some individuals to keep quiet. A caregiver could pressure an individual into making decisions, especially financially, that would benefit the caregiver. According to the Miami Herald, when elderly people suffer from memory loss it could lead to financial exploitation. Pressuring an individual can be seen through bullying, belittling, or threatening someone. These behaviors all fall under emotional abuse, and can cause an elderly individual great harm; especially if memory loss is present.
Signs of Emotional Abuse:
- Low self-esteem
When an elderly individual is abused financially, the signs may be obvious but it can still be difficult to convince the person that the abuse is occurring. According to reports, financial abuse of elderly people is growing, and the reason why may have to do with individuals trusting caregivers. This trust can be misplaced, resulting in coercion by the caregiver. In some cases, an elderly person’s property may go missing, or bank accounts and credit cards may be drained. If bank accounts have large unexplained withdrawals made, then there is a good chance financial abuse has taken place.
Signs of Financial Abuse
- Missing belongings
- A lack of money for basic needs: food, rent, etc.
- Property transfer
- Anxiety, fear, or stress
Physical abuse can often be quite noticeable. Yet, getting the truth from a victim who has been pressured and bullied by a caregiver can be difficult. In many cases, the elderly individual will not be able to explain the reason for the accident that caused the bruising, cuts, or other visible marks on their bodies. Currently, Tennessee is working on a bill to stop elderly abuse. The state hopes to increase penalties for those found guilty of the crime.
Signs of Physical Abuse
- Restricted movement
- Accidents individuals cannot explain
- Injuries or bone breaks that cannot be explained
- Over or under use of medication or sedatives
Flahavan Law Offices – Ventura County Elderly Abuse Attorney
If you or a loved one has experienced elderly abuse, contact Flahavan Law Offices. Flahavan Law Offices specializes in personal injury law and can give you advice on what to do next.