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As a society, it is important for us to do everything we can to protect those most vulnerable. This includes elderly individuals. We depend on our parents to raise us when we are younger. Our parents depend on us to take care of them when they get older.
Unfortunately, there are situations where elderly individuals can be targeted through elder abuse. What are a few of the most common examples of elder abuse, and what should you do if you believe someone you love is being abused? Learn more about this situation below.
What Is Elderly Abuse?
Elder abuse can be divided into multiple categories. Some of the most common examples of elder abuse include:
Financial abuse is often overlooked; however, because elderly individuals sometimes suffer from memory issues, they can be easily conned into giving someone money. They also may not realize if someone is stealing money from them.
Physical abuse is more common than many people realize. Sometimes, people take out their anger on elderly individuals. Some of the most common signs of physical abuse include burn injuries, cuts, broken bones, and obvious limps.
Elderly individuals can also be targeted through emotional abuse. For example, some people may verbally abuse elderly individuals when they are not doing something fast enough, when they forget something, or when they lose their train of thought. It is important for everyone to remain patient when speaking to an elderly individual.
The most common form of elder abuse is neglect. There are numerous ways an elderly individual might be neglected. For example, someone who is unable to bathe themselves may depend on someone else to come and bathe them. If they are not being bathed, they are being neglected. Some elderly individuals might also not be given the food or medications they require. As a result, they may lose weight, or medical conditions could get worse. This is an example of passive neglect.
There are even situations where elderly individuals can be sexually abused. Just like everyone else, elderly individuals should be believed if they claim someone has been sexually assaulting them.
Signs of Elderly Abuse
The signs of elder abuse can vary significantly depending on the type of abuse being perpetrated. Some of the most common signs of elder abuse include:
- Signs of malnourishment, including unexplained weight loss
- Poor hygiene, particularly odd smells and stains that indicate someone has not bathed in a long time
- Unexplained injuries including broken bones, cuts, and bruises
- Money that mysteriously goes missing from bank accounts without any explanation
- Rapidly progressing mental health issues including depression and anxiety
Elderly individuals are vulnerable, and they may not always speak up when something is wrong. So, we should be vigilant and watch for these signs.
How Can You Help if You See Elderly Abuse?
If you spot signs of elder abuse, the most important thing you can do is believe someone when they tell you they are being abused. Then, you need to report the situation to the authorities.
Do everything you can to document what happened, and try to encourage the person you love to speak up about his or her situation if he or she is ready.
Depend on the authorities to conduct a complete, full, and transparent investigation. If your loved one has been targeted through elder abuse, there is a chance that someone else in the community may have been abused as well.
It is important to hold the responsible parties accountable while also getting elderly individuals the help they deserve.
Contact North Star Senior Advisors for Help Finding a Senior Living Community
Elder abuse is far more common than many people realize, and there are multiple types of elder abuse. Neglect is the most common form of elder abuse, but there are numerous other types of elder abuse as well. It is important to believe people who tell you they are being abused, and it is incumbent on us to be vigilant for signs of elder abuse.
The best way to deal with elder abuse is to prevent it from happening in the first place. That is why you should rely on experienced professionals, such as North Star Senior Advisors, to help you find the right senior living community. It would be our honor to find a new home for you or your loved one free of charge. Contact us today to speak to a member of our team!