Elder abuse and neglect in nursing homes or family homes is a serious problem throughout the United States. Elder abuse can be physical or emotional/psychological. Understanding and being able to spot some of the warnings signs of elder abuse can help you determine if your elderly loved one is suffering.
Signs of Physical and Emotional Abuse
The following are some signs that may point to elder abuse or elder neglect.
- Weight gain
- Weight loss
- Dehydration or malnutrition
- Bruising, internal injuries or broken bones
- Tooth or hair loss
- Broken eyeglasses or ripped clothing
- Burns (scald burns or cigarette burns)
- Physical signs of abuse, such as bedsores or restraint markings
- Symptoms of overmedication
- Unexplained infections
- Lack of proper personal hygiene
- Failing to clean a patient’s clothing or sheets
- Injuries to the genital area
- Development of a sexually transmitted disease
- Sudden changes in personality or behavior including anxiety, depression, self-harm, withdrawal from hobbies or loved ones, failure to take care of their own personal hygiene, or unexplained outbursts of rage
- Failure to take medication
- Sudden changes in eating or sleeping habits
- Low self-esteem
- Sudden fear of nursing home staff members
- Engages in repetitive behaviors such as rocking back and forth, pulling their hair, grinding their teeth or sucking on their hands
- Nursing home staff’s refusal to allow you to see your elderly loved one alone
These are just some possible symptoms or signs of abuse or neglect. Any behavior that is atypical of your elderly loved one’s normal disposition or character should be investigated to determine if it indicates possible abuse or neglect.
Emotional Elder Abuse
While physical elder abuse is oftentimes easier to identify, simply because there are physical signs, emotional and psychological elder abuse can be just as devastating. Some of the type of emotional abuse an elderly loved one could endure would include: being yelled at or berated; having someone demean, shame, mock; or insult them; ignoring or trivializing their requests; threatening sexual or physical abuse; isolating the person from either their family or friends; moving their possessions so they are unable to reach them, or removing their means of mobility such as a walker or wheelchair.
Reporting Elderly Abuse
If you believe your elderly loved one has suffered abuse either in a nursing home or from friends or family, you should contact either the police or Adult Protective Services. It is important to always ensure that your elderly loved one is safe and protected, and free from any type of abuse or neglect.
Contact Rocky Mountain Assisted Living
We take pride in caring for your elderly loved one. If you have had a negative experience with another nursing home or believe that your elderly loved one has been abused or neglected, we would love the opportunity to discuss how they would be safe in our care. Please contact us at Rocky Mountain Assisted Living at 303-835-9265 or visit us online today. We are here to help you and your elderly loved one.