Every year, thousands of older people experience elder abuse, which can be physical or emotional. Most of these victims are frail and vulnerable, so they can’t protect themselves.

Sadly, the abusers are often family members, friends, and trusted individuals in positions of authority. Continue reading to find out more about this type of abuse.

Types of Elder Abuse

The Administration for Community Living (ACL) identifies the following behaviors as abuse:

  • Physical abuse: Inflicting physical injuries on a senior by bruising, slapping, or restraining them.
  • Emotional abuse: Inflicting emotional pain or distress on an elderly person by intimidating, humiliating, or threatening them.
  • Sexual abuse: Non-consensual sexual contact
  • Financial abuse: Illegally taking a senior’s funds, property, or assets for your benefit.
  • Abandonment: Deserting a vulnerable senior when you owe them a duty of care or assume custody over them.
  • Neglect: Failure to provide a senior with food, shelter, health care, or protection if you’re responsible.

Learn about the warning signs below.

Red Flags to Watch out For

  • Bruises, pressure marks, broken bones, burns, and abrasions may indicate physical abuse.
  • Sudden change in alertness, unusual depression, and withdrawal from regular activities may indicate emotional abuse.
  • Bruises around the genital area may indicate sexual abuse.
  • Threats, belittling, and other misuses of power by a spouse can indicate verbal and emotional abuse.
  • Sudden changes in financial status may indicate financial exploitation.
  • Unattended medical needs, bedsores, poor hygiene, and excessive weight loss may indicate neglect.
  • Tense or strained relationships and constant arguments between an elderly person and their caregiver may indicate abuse.

How Can I Intervene?

If you suspect your parent or grandparent is being abused, remain alert because many people suffer in silence. Tell at least one person, such as a friend, doctor, or family member you trust. Furthermore, if you witness an elderly person being abused or neglected, don’t hesitate to escalate the situation to the authorities. Every senior abuse report is a snapshot of a significant problem.

Unfortunately, many seniors are too afraid to report abuse. Some of them fear retaliation from their abuser; others prefer dealing with an abusive caretaker than not having one. Keep the following in mind:

  • Don’t confront the abuser: This can endanger the elderly person. The only time you should confront an abuser is if the victim permits you. Make sure the elderly person can immediately move to a safer care center.
  • Even if the elderly person rejects your help, continue checking in with them: Ask other loved ones to express their feelings of concern for the elderly person. A neutral party, such as a geriatric care manager, might have a better chance of consoling them.

Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton Can Help

Elder abuse can be debilitating, traumatizing, and lonely. If you or a loved one is experiencing abuse, a nursing home abuse lawyer from Flickinger Sutterfield & Boulton can help them receive damages for their suffering. Our attorneys fight for victims and their families to receive proper compensation, respect, and kindness.

We service Utah County and West Jordan. Schedule your free case evaluation today.