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Your Elderly Loved One May be an Abuse Victim


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Elder abuse is the term used to refer to any knowing, intentional or negligent act by a caregiver or any other person that causes harm to an elderly adult. Most of the nation's abuse against the elderly occurs in nursing facilities and hospitals where families have entrusted the care of their elderly loved one.

The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) periodically collects, analyzes and publishes statistics on abuse of the elderly in the United States. It is estimated that over 500,000 elderly adults are abused each year, and a shocking 84% of those abuse situations remain hidden. Some reports estimate that a startling 5 million elderly adults may be abused each year. It is very difficult to say how many older Americans are abused, neglected or exploited because surveillance of these facilities is limited and the problem remains greatly hidden.

Types of Abuse

There are many different types of abuse that an elderly person can suffer including:

  • Physical abuse
  • *** abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Neglect
  • Abandonment
  • Financial Exploitation

    Signs of Physical Abuse

  • Bruises, abrasions, broken bones, or burns
  • Open wounds
  • Cuts
  • Signs like broken eyeglasses or torn clothing indicating a struggle

    Signs of *** Abuse

  • Bruises around breasts and genital area
  • Unexplained venereal disease or infection
  • Torn or bloody undergarments
  • Unexplained vaginal or anal bleeding

    Signs of Emotional Abuse

  • Upset or agitated
  • Withdrawn and non-communicative
  • Exhibits any unusual behavior
  • Appears more timid or quieter than usual

    Signs of Neglect

  • Malnutrition
  • Dehydration
  • Poor hygiene
  • Bed sores
  • Unsanitary living conditions
  • Untreated health problems

    Signs of Abandonment

  • The elder is left at a nursing facility or hospital
  • The elder is left at some other public place like a church or grocery store

    Financial Exploitation

    Financial exploitation is one of the most insidious forms of elder abuse, and it is the most prevalent. Financial exploitation is estimated to be the type of abuse in half of all elderly abuse cases that are reported.

    Elders who are frail and not fully able to take care of themselves are vulnerable to abuse. Family members, contractors, telemarketers, church leaders, financial advisers, and healthcare workers are the most common predators on the elderly person's money. Elderly adults who have been financially exploited are often left without the resources they need to care for themselves. Sometimes older adults made destitute by financial exploitation have to turn to public aid for their necessary care.

    There are steps to take to ensure your elderly loved one is not taken advantage of by greedy caretakers, family members or healthcare professionals. Power of attorney is a useful legal tool that allows an individual to designate some other party to manage their funds in the event that they are unable to do so.

    If your elderly loved one has been abused, neglected or has even died due to someone else's negligence in Missouri or Illinois, please contact the Nursing Home Abuse and Negligence Lawyers at Brown & Brown, Attorneys at Law .

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