As senior citizens become frail, prone to illness, and less able to care for themselves, they also become vulnerable to severe mistreatment. They may not be able to stand up for themselves, fight back, or tell their loved ones about the abuse. Caretakers, neighbors, and even family members may take advantage of an elderly citizen’s disabilities or cognitive impairment.
Physical abuse is the intentional use of physical force, resulting in illness, injury, pain, impairment, distress, and/or death. These effects may be either acute or chronic. Your loved one may be more vulnerable to physical abuse if they are socially isolated or mentally impaired. For example, almost half of elderly people with dementia will experience some form of abuse or neglect.
If you notice signs indicating that your elderly loved one is experiencing abuse, you need to act quickly and seek professional assistance. At Garcia & Artigliere, our elder physical abuse lawyers are ready to support you. With over a century of combined experience, our legal team leads the country in elder abuse litigation. Abuse thrives in silence, and we work every day to break the cycle.
Recognizing the Signs of Physical Abuse
The most obvious signs of physical abuse include pressure marks, bruises, abrasions, burns, scars, and broken bones. However, other signs may not be as readily apparent.
Many of our clients come to us with similar experiences. Some of them are concerned friends, neighbors, or children. They notice a bad bruise on their elderly loved one’s forearm, and when they ask about the mark, the senior citizen (or caretaker) blames it on an accident, such as a fall. However, this soon becomes a pattern, and the loved one develops increasingly concerning behavior. Some of our clients notice normally friendly loved ones shutting down and becoming withdrawn, skittish, or depressed over the course of a few months. Others realize something is wrong when their seniors begin isolating themselves and avoiding confrontation.
Abuse of any kind produces feelings of guilt and fear. You will most likely not be able to rely on your loved one to directly communicate with you about their abuse, because they may be afraid of potential repercussions if they tell the truth. In other cases, they may feel the abuse is their fault, and shame keeps them from speaking up.
Consequences of Physical Abuse for Elders
If your instincts are telling you that your loved one is being mistreated, investigating the situation as soon as possible is vital for their health and survival. According to the National Council on Aging, the risk of death among elders is 3 times higher for those who are abused.
Some of the most common consequences of physical abuse for senior citizens include:
- Acute or chronic pain and suffering
- Difficulty falling or staying asleep
- Exacerbation of preexisting physical issues
- Psychological conditions (e.g. depression, anxiety, or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)
- Life-threatening injuries
For senior citizens, physical injuries will likely be more painful and take longer to heal. Furthermore, the emotional and psychological consequences may last for years after the abuse occurs.
Contact Our Firm Today for Immediate, One-On-One Support
While every case is different, many of our past clients discovered abuse because they trusted their instincts and took necessary action. The first step is removing your loved one from an abusive relationship or situation and getting them the care they need. The second step is seeking compassionate, experienced legal representation. Our legal team at Garcia & Artigliere will do everything in our power to secure compensation for your elderly loved one and hold their abusers accountable.
Elder abuse may be on the rise, but together, we can fight back. Call Garcia & Artigliere at (800) 328-2630 today or contact us online to schedule your free case review.