Warning Signs of Elder Abuse

There are several types of elder abuse that occur in nursing homes or private homes according to the National Institute on Aging and the CDC. What are the warning signs?

1) Physical abuse. Fractured or broken bones, sprains, bruises and burns that suddenly appear and cannot be adequately explained

2) Sexual abuse. Bruises or swelling in the genital area; or a new and unexplained sexually transmitted disease

3) Emotional abuse. Sudden withdrawal from social activities; sudden behavior changes; a caregiver who is demeaning, critical or aggressive; isolation from family, either self-imposed or imposed by a caregiver

4) Neglect and/or Abandonment. Soiled linens and unexpectedly dirty environment; bedsores; deterioration of personal hygiene; missing or improper administration of medications; lack of food, heat, water and other basic essentials

5) Financial abuse. Signing financial control to caregivers; excessive or unexpected gifts to non-family members; inability to explain financial transactions; sudden unpaid bills

6) Healthcare fraud. Unexpected and/or unnecessary medical tests; lack of clear explanations about medical services; bills for medical services that were never provided (This one is mostly limited to nursing homes and other facilities for the elderly.)

Elder abuse, like other instances of personal injury, is often situation specific. The list above contains elements that may or may not indicate the presence of abuse. If you have concerns about the treatment of your elderly family members, whether in their home or in a facility, please contact our office immediately. Our attorneys can help you sort out these difficult issues.

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