What are the Signs & Symptoms of Elder Abuse and Neglect?
Approximately 1 in 10 Americans aged 60+ have experienced some form of elder abuse. Elder abuse includes physical and financial abuse of persons 65 years of age and older. Those terms are self evident. However, neglect typically means the refusal or failure to provide an elderly person with such life necessities as food, water, clothing, shelter, personal hygiene, medicine, comfort, personal safety, and other essentials of daily living.
Physical Abuse & Neglect
Signs and Symptoms of Physical Abuse are:
- Bruises, black eyes, welts, lacerations, and rope marks
- Bone fractures, broken bones, and skull fractures
- Open wounds, cuts, punctures, untreated injuries in various stages of healing
- Sprains, dislocations, and internal injuries/bleeding
- Broken eyeglasses/frames, physical signs of being subjected to punishment, and signs of being restrained
- Laboratory findings of medication overdose or underutilization of prescribed drugs
- An elder’s report of being hit, slapped, kicked, or mistreated
- An elder’s sudden change in behavior
- Caregiver’s refusal to allow visitors to see an elder alone
Signs and Symptoms of Neglect are:
- Dehydration, malnutrition, bed sores, fractures, urinary tract infections, contractures, over-medication, elopements and poor personal hygiene
- Unattended or untreated health problems
- Hazardous or unsafe living condition/arrangements (e.g., improper wiring, no heat, or no running water)
- Unsanitary and unclean living conditions (e.g. Dirt, fleas, lice on person, soiled bedding, fecal/urine smell, inadequate clothing)
- An elder’s report of being mistreated
The consequences of elder financial abuse are very real. Elderly Americans lose an estimated $2.9 Billion to financial exploitation annually. Moreover, elderly Americans suffering from elder abuse often experience significantly higher levels of psychological distress than older individuals who have not experienced abuse.
Signs and Symptoms of Financial Abuse include:
- Elder can’t spend money the way he or she wants
- Elder’s bills aren’t paid on time even though he has the financial resources to pay his bills
- Elder is forced to sell or give away property, sign over power of attorney, or change title of property to someone else
- Elder is offered care in exchange for property or access to bank accounts
- Elder’s account shows activity the senior couldn’t have done, such as making an atm withdrawal when the elder is bedridden
- Elder’s financial situation suddenly changes
- Elder’s belongings are missing
- Elder’s will is suddenly changed
- Elder’s bank account shows unusual activity
- Elder makes changes to financial decisions but seems incapable of comprehending those decisions
- Elder is isolated from friends and/or family
- Elder is afraid to speak in front of caregiver/companion/family member
- Elder has purchased items he or she can’t use, such as a lifetime membership at a gym
- Elder receives care well above the level he or she needs.
At Elder Protection Center we’re here to help you and the ones you love to navigate the complexities and concerns that often come with aging.
Protecting the People You Love is our number one priority. You are not alone. We’d love to hear from you. Elder Protection Center is standing by for you and your loved ones – Today.
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