It is a sad time in Florida when data shows that tens of thousands of reports are filed every year regarding the abuse of the state’s older citizens. Hundreds of deaths occur in connection with many of the reported incidents. Elder abuse is a real problem, and it is important to understand the types of abuse that occur most often and to learn how to recognize signs that a loved one or elderly friend is at risk or has suffered injuries.
There are four primary categories of elder abuse, each containing subgroups as well. For instance, there is physical abuse, which includes sexual assault, as well as health issues, such as food and water deprivation, in addition to hitting, biting, kicking or other violence. Besides physical abuse, there are several other types of mistreatment that elders frequently encounter when they are dependent on others for their safety and well-being.
Emotional and psychological elder abuse
If an elder family member in a nursing home or similar residence appears to exhibit signs of agitation or fear when a particular staff member is nearby, it is cause for concern because this is a common symptom of elder abuse. Emotional and psychological mistreatment often includes yelling at a patient, using profane or threatening language, making demeaning comments or using coercion to produce a certain behavior (like signing a legal document).
Be aware of these types of abuse as well
The other two main types of elder abuse that occur in Florida and eslewhere are neglect and financial exploitation. If a loved one speaks of abuse or suspicion arises for other reasons, it is important to further investigate the situation. In fact, someone’s life may depend on it. If necessary, local law enforcement, patient advocates and legal representatives can get involved to help resolve a case.