Facts About Elder Abuse

When your loved one enters a nursing home facility, you expect that he or she will have the best possible care. The last thing that you want to consider is the potential for abuse. Here are three things to know about elder abuse.

Elder Abuse Comes in Many Different Forms

Elder abuse affects as many as five million older adults. Often, this kind of abuse takes place in a senior living facility or the person’s home. When you think of abuse, you might think of physical abuse when someone inflicts injury or pain on another person. While this is a big form of abuse, it is not the only one.

Elder abuse also includes emotional abuse. Caretakers may threaten or insult the patient. Caregivers may also use intimidation tactics to control the patient’s behavior. Other forms of abuse include passive neglect. In these cases, the caregiver may not intend to harm, but he or she still fails to provide the necessities to the patient. For instance, he or she forgets to provide food or a change of clothes.

Willful deprivation is similar to neglect except that the caretaker intentionally denies the older adult medical care, food, physical assistance, therapeutic devices, or otherwise exposes the adult to emotional or physical risks. Elder abuse may also come in the form of confinement. If your loved one is confined to his or her room or restrained without any medical reason, this is a form of abuse.

Caregivers or Family Members Are Most Likely to Commit Elder Abuse

In most cases of elder abuse, it is caused by a family member or caregiver. This can take place in a nursing home or at the elder’s home. In almost 90 percent of all cases, the senior relies on the abuser. These patients are vulnerable because they often require basic care to function.

There Are a Variety of Elder Abuse Warning Signs

If your loved one is in a nursing home, you must look for any signs that there may be something wrong. Those who suffer abuse may become more withdrawn. They may have poor hygiene habits or poor grooming. For physical abuse, you may see unexplained bruises or other marks. 

Sometimes your loved one won’t express or be able to express what is happening to him or her.