What Is Elder Abuse?
What Is Elder Abuse?
What is elder abuse, how can you recognize it, and most importantly, what resources are there to stop it if one of your loved ones is a victim? It can be hard to detect, but there are ways to see if nursing home or home care employees are causing it.
Elder abuse has always been around, but it has only recently been recognized as the huge problem it really is. The most common types of abuse are listed below.
Five Types Of Elder Abuse To Know
If your elderly parents or relatives live in senior care centers or are visited by home health aides, they could be affected in these areas:
- Being physically abused - hitting, slapping, kicking, physically restraining or being chemically punished with sedatives or depressants to keep them quiet
- Suffering sexual abuse - as horrifying as it may sound, there are documented cases of elderly residents being coerced or forced into sexual acts
- Neglecting elderly persons - this includes negligence in providing food, water, clothing changes, adequate shelter or medical care
- Exploiting elderly people - this includes illegally using their savings, retirement checks or property
- Abandoning elderly residents - this is when nursing home personnel or home health care aides simply ignore their care giving tasks or stop visiting senior citizens on their regularly scheduled days.
How Can I Tell If My Loved Ones Are Elder Abuse Victims?
While COVID-19 has severely limited in person visits, you can still be on the lookout for changes like these:
- Visible bruises, cuts or other injuries that cannot be explained by the professional caregiver
- No longer wanting to participate in social activities, acting withdrawn or depressed
- Abrupt changes in financial resources that cannot be documented
- Skipped medications, bedsores or other medical neglect
- Relationship changes between the caregiver and elder patient, where negativity is noted when there was none before
This list is not inclusive. You know your elderly relatives better than anyone else, so if you see changes from afar that are not normal, don't hesitate to raise them with the caregiver organization immediately.
What Should I Do If I Suspect Elder Abuse?
First, notify your local law enforcement agency. They have the means to bring in adult protective services or social services experts to investigate your claim. The sooner you report your suspicions, the sooner your relatives will be protected.
In South Carolina, you can also file a report with the Department of Social Services. You can make an online report to start the investigation. Finally, you can contact the Anastopoulo Law firm.Our experienced attorneys have been representing clients in elder abuse and nursing home neglect cases for more than 25 years.
We can help you file claims against various parties including health care providers, nursing home property providers, caregivers or home health aides.
Call us at 800-313-2546 to see what compensation you or loved ones may be entitled to if suspected elder abuse occurs.
Image courtesy of Aware Senior Care