According to the National Center for Victims of Crime, definitions and statistics on elder abuse vary but researchers agree abuse of the elderly falls within five categories. Listed below are these categories and signs to watch for:
1. Physical abuse (non-accidental physical force that results in injury)
Indicators: fractures and dislocations, lacerations and abrasions, burns, injuries to the head, scalp, face and bruises on upper arms from shaking, around wrists or ankles from being tied down, inside thighs or arms.
2. Sexual abuse (non-consensual sexual contact).
Indicators: sexually transmitted diseases and or pain, itching, bleeding or bruising in the genital area.
3. Psychological abuse (mental anguish as a result of threats, intimidation, humiliation and other such conduct)
Indicators: low self-esteem, overly anxious and withdrawn, mood swings, depression, suicidal behavior, confusion, disorientation.
4. Financial abuse (unauthorized use of funds or property)
Indicators: This can be difficult to detect but can include change in spending habits such as canceling a planned trip or a reduction in food and medication.
5. Neglect (failure to fulfill a caretaking obligation)
Indicators may include poor personal hygiene, signs of over- and under-medication, elder dressed poorly and possibly in soiled clothes, elders left alone and deprived of stimulation and affection, malnutrition.
Contact Steven Peck’s Premier Legal to talk to an experienced elder law attorney should you personally encounter or see a friend or loved one be the victim of abuse and / or neglect. Call toll-free at 1-866-999-9085.
About the Author
Attorney Steven Peck has been practicing law since 1981. A former successful business owner, Mr. Peck initially focused his legal career on business law. Within the first three years, after some colleagues and friend’s parents endured nursing home neglect and elder abuse, he continued his education to begin practicing elder law and nursing home abuse law.