The proliferation of nursing homes and elder care centers suggests that they are safe places for the elderly to live and be cared for, but unfortunately they can be quite dangerous for senior citizens.
Today’s news cycles don’t usually highlight the growing problem of elder abuse, but they should. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), more than one million Americans over the age of 65 have experienced some type of abuse, neglect or exploitation by their caregivers. Even more troubling, most elder abuse victims never see justice because their abusers are not usually held accountable. Because of this, it is important for family members and loved ones to recognize the signs of elder abuse.
Physical abuse – While this intuitively should be the easiest type of abuse to recognize, random injuries could be explained away. As such, it is important to review all injury reports to see if abuse is being hidden.
Emotional abuse – If your loved one is usually happy and charming, seeing them sullen or despondent may be a sign of emotional abuse. This is especially important if they insist that nothing’s wrong or do not want you to leave.
Financial abuse – Complaints about always being strapped for cash or seeing hidden, yet unpaid bills could mean that a caregiver is siphoning money.
If you suspect that your loved one is being abused, whether they are in a nursing home, or being cared for at home, an experienced elder law attorney can advise you.