Elder Abuse

18 May

Elder Abuse
Abuse and neglect of older people can involve physical abuse, verbal intimida- tion, exploitation (such as mishandling of financial resources), medical neglect (such as withholding medications or treatment or devices such as dentures, eyeglasses, hearing aids, or walkers), or physical neglect or abandonment. Most abused older people are women, but men also are abused. Victims of elder abuse usually live with their abuser.

Watch for the following signs of possible abuse in older friends and family members:

Physical or emotional abuse:

•  unexplained burns, bruises, cuts, or scars

•  frequent falls

•  noticeable fear of caregiver

•  withdrawal; isolation

•  lack of responsiveness

•  agitation; anxiety

•  confusion; disorientation

•  depression

•  anger

•  poor hygiene

•  bedsores

•  unexplained weight loss

•  lethargy

•  changes in personality

Signs of financial exploitation:

•  mismanagement of the person’s assets

•  diversion of the person’s income

•  withdrawal of funds without the person’s permission

•  withdrawal of funds against the person’s will

If you suspect that an older friend, relative, or neighbor is being abused or exploited, try to help him or her. Stay in touch with the person. If you have not seen him or her recently and cannot reach him or her by phone, stop by unex- pectedly. If you are not allowed to see the person, ask about his or her health and stop by again within a day or two. Keep trying. If your persistent attempts to see the person fail or if, when you see the person, you suspect that there is a problem, consider reporting the situation to the local protective services agency. A local senior center or senior citizens’ agency can tell you where to call for help. Be prepared to provide the person’s name and address, the nature of the suspected problem, the names of other people who may know about the situation, and how best to contact the person. Your identity will be kept confidential.

Random Posts

Comments are closed.