When you have a relative or loved one who receives care from professionals in a nursing home facility or an independent caregiver, there is a chance that they aren’t receiving enough attention.
Abuse of elderly individuals is a widespread issue. But recognizing what elder abuse looks like and some red flags of abuse can help you check in on your loved ones.
Common types of abuse
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, some common forms of elder abuse include neglect as well as physical and emotional abuse. Physical abuse involves intentional hitting, pushing, burning or acting violently toward an elderly person. Abuse can also be psychological or emotional. Emotional abuse includes saying threatening or humiliating statements to a nursing home resident in front of their peers or in private. It also includes isolating an elder by not allowing them to partake in social activities.
Neglect happens when a nursing home staff member or caregiver fails to help an elderly individual take care of their basic needs. They might withhold food, drink, medications or not shower them or help them get out of bed.
Warning signs of abuse
Understaffing in assisted living centers or nursing homes or poorly trained staff can lead to neglect or abuse. Besides making sure anyone taking care of the senior citizens in your circle is qualified and that the resident to staff ratio makes sense, you should also be aware of warning signs of elder abuse.
Physical abuse and neglect might be easier to identify because the effects are often external. Keep an eye out for cuts, bruises or burns. Victims of neglect might be suffering from bedsores or sudden weight loss. And if an elderly individual isn’t receiving hygiene help, then they might have dirty clothes, strong body odor or messy hair.
Emotional abuse can severely impact an individual’s outlook on life. If your loved one isn’t interested in doing day to day routines that they once did with ease, then they might be suffering from abuse. They might also seem depressed, less alert and more tense.
Not catching abuse early on can lead to severe injuries or death. So, it’s crucial to find ways to regularly ask the elderly people in your life about physical or emotional ailments they are experiencing.