Elderly Abuse: Know the Signs of Elderly Abuse and the Legal Steps to Take Against It
Frank J. Dito, Jr.
Elderly abuse happens far too often in New York City and throughout the country. It happens to women and men, whites and blacks, those who are stable and those who have disorders or degenerative diseases. Elderly abuse is sometimes hard to recognize and even harder to prove when a person lives in a nursing home and you are not around them often. Knowing the signs of elderly abuse can help not only with the welfare of the elderly loved ones in your life but also allows for them to be able to live a happier, fuller life while they are in the nursing home.
First we must determine the types of elderly abuse there is that can occur. Understanding the different types of abuse will allow you to be aware of common situations that occur to the elderly in nursing homes and can help you protect your loved ones.
- Physical Abuse - This would include hitting, punching, slapping, kicking, hitting with objects, burning, restraining or confining when not necessary and giving the wrong medication or too much medication intentionally.
- Psychological/Emotional Abuse - yelling, swearing, screaming, scaring, ignoring, humilitating, ridiculing, making fun of, or blaming.
- Financial Abuse - Illegal use and/or unauthorized use of a check book, bank account, checking card, credit card, pension or forcing an elderly person to name the abuser in their will or in their power of attorney.
- Sexual Abuse - Forcing an elderly person to engage in sexual activities against their will including engagement in activities of physical nature or verbal nature.
- Neglect - Depriving an elderly person of food, water, heat, clothing and/or comfort.
All of these common forms of abuse happen to thousands of elderly women and men every year as a matter of a fact according to reports one in every 14 elderly may be suffering from one of these forms of abuse. Many elderly people never report the abuse though because they have memory problems or may be scared to say something about the situation. Here are some signs of elderly abuse you can look for in your loved ones:
- Does not want to spend time away from the care giver
- Seems to be hiding something about their care giver
- Seems afraid to make their own decisions
- Never has any money even though they should
- Is having "accidents"
- Continuously puts off going to the doctor
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