Elder abuse is described by the following acts among family/members of the household, any nursing home staff or any individual:

  1. When someone attempts or causes physical injury to an elder
  2. When a family member or staff of a nursing home try to or is trying to place an elder in terror or alarm of physical harm by torment, threat or harassment
  3. When someone is convincing or persuading an elderly person by strength or intimidation to participate in a certain act in which the elder has the right to withhold
  4. When someone confines the movements of an elderly person without his/her consent
  5. Threatening an elderly person to a crime of violence

 

You may be able to detect abuse by the following Physical Signs:

  • Burn markings from cigarette
  • Black eye, lacerations, bruises or cuts that cannot be explained
  • Rope marks, a sign that the elder had been tied or slashed upon
  • Hair loss, a sign that the elder’s hair was pulled
  • There are visible bodily sores & wounds
  • Fingernails that are broken
  • The senior’s skin is in very poor condition
  • Fractures of the bone
  • There are Bite marks
  • Eye glasses are broken
  • Laboratory results are positive for drug use
  • The senior displays a sudden change in behavior
  • The senior’s caregiver refuses to allow visitors to see the him/her

 

You can spot Neglect by the following signs:

  • Sores are untreated
  • Displays significant signs of malnutrition
  • He/she may show signs of insanity
  • He/she shows a lack of personal hygiene care

 

You can spot Emotional Abuse if your elderly loved one shows the following signs:

  • The senior may display a nervous behavior
  • He/she is constantly disturbed or upset
  • He/she displays a negative attitude
  • He/she is always anxious
  • He/she demonstrates signs of insecurity, such as constant sucking or biting of the fingers

 

Signs of Financial Abuse:

  • There are unknown withdrawal from the elder’s account
  • There are unusual ATM withdrawals and switching of accounts
  • The senior tends to withdraw money often
  • The senior does not receive his pension or Social Security check from the mail
  • The senior, without any valid reason, revises his will and changes his beneficiary
  • The senior unexplainably signs contracts that results to unwanted financial commitment
  • His/her signature was forged
  • The senior has plenty of unpaid bills, despite his assets that can very well cover those bills
  • There are strange credit card charges on their credit card statement

 

Signs of Sexual Abuse:

  • There are mysterious and unexplained genital infection
  • There is anal or vaginal bleeding that cannot be explained
  • Their underwear is ripped
  • The senior may tell someone that he/she has been sexually abused
  • Their genitals are bruised
  • The senior may report that her care giver is showing her pornographic materials
  • The report of the elder that he/she is forced to touch someone’s genitals, observe sexual acts, tell dirty stories and pose nude for a picture

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If you are an aging adult, here are some ways you can prevent abuse:

  • Keep & continue contacts with family, friends and neighbors
  • Work out on a buddy system with other elders in the home
  • Be active socially, do not be in isolation
  • Protest & speak up if you’re not happy or content with the way your caregiver or other family member treats you. Tell someone!
  • Request your friends and other relatives to visit you often
  • Open your mail personally – do not have anyone else do it for you – if you must have someone help you, be sure they do it in front of you
  • Never sign anything unless it was reviewed by someone that you trust
  • Always review your Will once in a while, to make sure that things are the way you want them to be
  • Coordinate so that your pension or Social Security check be deposited directly to your bank account rather than being sent by mail

 

If you have an aging loved one living with you or living independently/in a nursing home or senior community, here are some ways you can help prevent abuse in their life:

  • Pay attention. Be wary & look out for signals that might point towards abuse
  • Call your loved one as frequently as possible
  • Visit your loved one often & make certain that he/she is well taken cared of
  • Always be open to your loved one, taking the time to always talk to him/her and assure him/her that you are there to help & can be trusted
  • Get permission to periodically look into your loved one’s bank accounts as well as credit card statements for unauthorized withdrawals or transactions

 

How To Get Help If You Or Someone You Know Is Suffering Abuse:

  • 911 or your local police emergency number or your local hospital emergency room
  • National Center on Elder Abuse  (202) 898-2586 or Fax: (202) 898-2583
  • Area Agency on Aging: Almost all States have information as well as a referral line that can be useful and helpful in locating and finding services for elder abuse and neglect victims.
  • National Domestic Violence Hotline: The hotline provides support counseling for victims of domestic violence and provides links to 2,500 local support services for abused women. The hotline operates 24 hours a day, every day of the year. 1-800-799-SAFE or TDD 1-800-787-3224