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Thanksgiving and the rest of the holiday season are often filled with fun and laughter that involves the entire family. Some of your aging family members may be in assisted living centers or have at-home caregivers. You depend on the medical professionals in charge of your loved one’s care to treat them with the love and respect you do. Sadly, that’s not always the case. This is the time of year you see your family more often, which makes it the best time to look for signs of elder abuse or nursing home abuse and neglect.
Top Signs of Elder Abuse & Neglect
One in ten adults over the age of 60 is subjected to one or more forms of abuse or neglect, which can involve verbal, sexual, emotional, physical, and financial abuse, abandonment, and caregiver neglect. Your loved one may be particularly at risk of harm and violence if he or she has cognitive impairment such as dementia. The most visible signs of abuse and neglect typically involve unexplained injuries and bed sores, but there are more ways to figure out if your family member is being hurt, including:
- Cognitive Signs of Elder Abuse or Neglect: Your loved one may act depressed, confused, and withdrawn if they are being harmed or intentionally isolated from family, friends, or other care facility residents. They may show sudden changes in personality and behavior such as a lack of interest in socializing and unreasonable fear or suspicion.
- Physical Signs of Elder Abuse or Neglect: Bruises, burns, scars, and other types of injuries that go unexplained. Your family member may seem ambivalent about these injuries and refuse care. Signs of neglect are quite visible as well. He or she might have bed sores or look underfed, dirty, dehydrated, under or over medicated or have untreated medical problems.
- Financial Signs of Elder Abuse or Neglect: Men and women save money their entire lives to make sure they have the funds required to retire and still live a full life. When a serious condition or injury develops such as dementia or a bad fall, your loved one becomes vulnerable in many ways, which includes their finances. Signs of financial elder abuse include sudden changes in banking or spending patterns.
You might be able to spot elder abuse or neglect by the actions of the nursing home staff or caregiver. They may stay in the room or hover just outside during your visit because they’re worried about what your family member might say.
What You Can Do to Stop Elder Abuse and Neglect
There are several ways to prevent elder abuse and neglect such as doing extensive research into the nursing home and visiting often. However, if you suspect your loved one is being harmed, there are several things you need to do to stop the abuse, which starts by having a conversation with your family member about your concerns for their safety and what’s happening when you’re not around. Then, call Adult Protective Services or the police.
Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years are typically spent with family, so you’re probably going to visit or see your elderly loved one more than you do the rest of the year. Remember to look for the signs listed above while you celebrate the holidays and take action if you have good reason to suspect abuse or neglect.
Contact a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney in Orlando
If you suspect your loved one is being mistreated and injured at the hands of their caregiver or nursing home facility, call the police, and contact our attorneys in Orlando today at (855) 880-4741 for a FREE case evaluation. Colling Gilbert Wright & Carter serve clients in Orlando, Florida and nationwide.