Common Signs of Elder Abuse

Nursing Home Blog

Elderly hands on a walkerThe number of elderly men and women who have experienced nursing home abuse continues to rise. According to Help Guide, “in the U.S. alone, more than half a million reports of abuse against elderly Americans reach authorities every year, and millions more cases go unreported.” It has become necessary for those with elderly loved ones living in a nursing home to become aware of the common signs of elder abuse.

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse occurs when seniors are hurt physically, such as being beaten or hit with an object. Some signs of physical abuse include bruises, fractures, wounds, sprains and untreated injuries, as well as signs of improper physical restraint.

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse or psychological abuse occurs when seniors are subjected to distress, humiliation or harassment verbally or nonverbally. This type of abuse also includes forced social isolation. Some signs of emotional abuse include emotional agitation, extreme withdrawal or behavior that is often associated with dementia, such as rocking.

Neglect

Neglect occurs when caregivers refuse or fail to care for elderly individuals. This includes failing to provide food and water, personal hygiene care, shelter and other basic necessities. Some of the signs of neglect include dehydration or malnutrition, unsafe living environments, unsanitary conditions and untreated bed sores or other health problems.

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse occurs when there is inappropriate touching or sexual contact that is non-consensual. Some signs of sexual abuse include bruising in or around the genitals or breasts, anal or vaginal bleeding that is not associated with a medical condition, venereal diseases or infections, and undergarments that are stained or bloody.

Financial Abuse

Financial abuse, or exploitation, occurs when an elderly individual’s money, assets or property is used improperly or illegally. Signs of financial abuse include unexplained bank withdrawals, sudden changes to financial documents, unexplained asset transfers and forged signatures.

Self-neglect

Self-neglect occurs when seniors exhibit behavior that is a threat to their own well-being, such as refusing care. Some of the signs of self-neglect include malnutrition, untreated medical problems, hazardous living environments, unsanitary conditions or homelessness.

Abandonment

Abandonment occurs when those responsible for an elderly individual’s care desert them. Signs of abandonment include leaving seniors untended in a nursing home facility, hospital or other public place, such as a store.

If you have reason to believe that a loved one has been the victim of elder abuse, or would like more information from a nursing home abuse lawyer, please contact Garcia, Artigliere & Medby at 1-800-281-8515 or visit us online to request a free consultation.