Care and love of family and close friends is always in season. There are noteworthy days in our common calendars such as Mother’s Day, anniversaries, Fathers’ Day and weddings that make us especially aware of our connections to loved ones and their life conditions. Especially, if they are not living with us. If you have an elder family member or loved one who relies on the care of a nursing home or who care aids coming into their home, it is important that you know the signs of elder abuse.
What is Considered Elder Abuse?
Elder abuse is a major issue that is more common than you might expect. Because the elderly are generally more vulnerable physically, mentally, and emotionally, they are often targets of manipulation and abuse from those whose job it is to care for them. If you are concerned about someone you know being subjected to elder abuse, it is important to understand exactly what is considered elder abuse under the law.
Elder abuse comes in many forms, including physical, sexual, psychological, or financial abuse as well as neglect. Elder abuse is considered any deliberate behaviour by a trusted person (such as a paid caregiver, adult child, or friend) that results in an elderly person experiencing physical or emotional pain or the loss of or damage to property and/or assets.
Signs That Elder Abuse May Be Occurring
Oftentimes, victims of abuse will not come out and say what is happening to them and will likely deny it if confronted about it. This is because abuse is stigmatized and often makes the victim feel ashamed. If you are concerned that an elderly person in your life may be being abused but you are unsure, the following signs can point to the presence of abuse.
Common Signs of Elder Abuse
- Unusual and/or unexplained bruises, cuts, or other injuries
- Acting ashamed
- Heightened fear response (cringing, flinching)
- Low self-esteem
- Restricted access to telephones, internet, and other means of communication
- Restricted access to visitors, outings, or activities
- Out-of-character behaviour
- Poor hygiene
- Sudden weight loss or malnourishment
What You Can Do About Elder Abuse
If you have reasonable grounds to believe that an elderly family member or loved one is being abused, you can help them get into a safe situation and be awarded damages for the suffering that they have gone through. Speak to an experienced lawyer to determine the best way to proceed.
At Hoogbruin & Company, we have extensive experience with elder abuse cases. It is our priority to ensure that our clients are able to leave unsafe, abusive situations and are adequately compensated for the actions of their abusers. Get in touch with us today to schedule a consultation on our best next steps to look after your loved ones safety.