As we’ve reported in this blog before, abuse in senior living facilities is a disturbingly common problem in the United States. You want to do everything possible to protect your loved one and advocate on their behalf if you suspect wrongdoing. However, if certain factors are preventing your loved one from opening up about their abuse or neglect, it can sometimes be difficult to spot.
Today we provide three things to look for as possible indicators of elder abuse:
- Physical indicators: Look for unexplained bruises in odd places. While elderly people may be prone to bumps and bruises from falls or commonplace accidents, certain types of bruises are suspicious. If you notice bruising on the inside of the upper arm or on the inside of the thigh, for instance, these would likely indicate a pressure mark that was inflicted by someone else. In addition, bedsores are a common sign of negligent care.
- Mental indicators: If you notice that your loved one is experiencing issues with consciousness or tracking, this could be a sign that a caregiver has given them chemical restraints in order to make them more docile. This type of drug administration is against the law.
- Behavioral indicators: If an elderly person has been abused by a caregiver, they may be too fearful to speak about it. If the victim is a dementia patient, they may be unable to report what happened. However, you can look for other indicators of foul play. If you notice your loved one seems withdrawn, anxious around a particular caregiver or displays unusual behavior, such as rocking or biting, these could be signs that something is not right.
Like all people, the elderly are entitled to a safe, supportive living environment. If you suspect your loved one is being mistreated, consult with an attorney experienced in elder abuse to defend their rights.