Since most seniors are frail and cognitively impaired, they are more susceptible to abuse from their caregivers. No matter how careful you are when selecting your loved one’s caregiver or nursing home, there’s a chance they may face abuse.
Unfortunately, elderly abuse can take many forms, making it difficult to spot. But you need to learn all the warning signs of elder abuse to keep your loved ones safe.
Here are some of the common signs of elder abuse.
- Physical injuries
Bruises, cuts, and broken bones are the most visible signs of elderly abuse. Physical injuries can be caused by kicking, shoving, or hitting. When looking for physical injuries, focus on those that look like handprints and burn marks. Also, don’t be afraid to ask your loved one about the type of injuries they have and listen keenly to their answers as they may try to cover them up due to fear.
- Behavioral changes
If your relative starts showing signs of depression or becoming withdrawn from everyday activities, it could be a sign of abuse. Generally, elderly individuals who face abuse become anxious and afraid, causing a change in their behavior.
For instance, a happy, talkative senior may become quiet and isolated by withdrawing from friends and family members. Over time, they can sink into depression.
- Poor hygiene
Victims of elder abuse seldom pay attention to their overall health and hygiene because the abuse affects their physical well-being. For example, they forgo bathing and don’t dress appropriately. Some also fail to use assistive devices such as hearing aids and walkers.
- Malnourishment or weight loss
Another sign to watch out for is rapid weight loss and malnourishment. Most times, victims of elderly abuse fall into depression, affecting their eating habits. They may miss meals or eat fewer portions.
To prevent abuse, you should keep a close eye on your relatives and report any signs to the local authorities. Then, hire an elder abuse attorney to help you fight for the justice of your loved one. At Cherepinskiy Law Firm, P.C., they provide the legal representation you need to hold the abuser accountable while recovering damages.