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What Are The Signs Of Elder Abuse?

As our parents and other senior relatives begin to require more daily care, more and more of their wellbeing is placed in the hands of those caring for them. They may be receiving care from a relative, other loved one or an in-home care professional or they may be in a long-term care facility. No matter where they are, you are concerned that they are receiving the quality of care they deserve and that they are not being injured or deprived by nursing home neglect or abuse. 

If you begin to suspect that your older loved one is not being cared for properly, you may wonder what some of the common signs of abuse or neglect are that you should remain aware of. According to the Administration on Aging, an agency of the U.S Department of Health and Human Services, there are multiple types of abuse or neglect that seniors may be the victims of, including:


  • Physical abuse
  • Sexual abuse
  • Neglect
  • Financial exploitation
  • Emotional abuse

Some of the signs of abuse to watch for include:

  • Bed sores (decubitus ulcers)
  • Dehydration
  • Malnutrition
  • Bruises (bruising near breasts or genitals may be sign of sexual abuse)
  • Weight loss
  • Unattended medical needs
  • Emotional withdrawal, depression or other changes in personality or demeanor
  • Poor hygiene
  • Being prevented from seeing or speaking with your older loved one (isolation)
  • Tense relations between senior and caregiver

It can be difficult to know with certainty what is happening in regards to the care your loved one is receiving. If you have questions that you want answers to, a skilled attorney can help you investigate the situation and help you remove your senior loved one to a more safe environment.

Source: Administration on Aging, “What is Elder Abuse?” accessed March 31, 2015

Related Posts: Four steps to reduce the risk of nursing home abuse, Underreporting elder abuse a widespread problem, Understanding ‘ageism’ as a factor in nursing home neglect

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