Helping an aging parent can be a rewarding yet challenging experience, especially if he or she must rely on others for daily care or must move into a nursing home full-time. Sadly, there are people throughout Florida and across the country with nefarious intentions regarding the elder population. This is one reason why it is important to know how to recognize signs of elder abuse.
There are several types of elder abuse, not only for nursing home residents, but also for elders who still live independently in their own homes. While certain mistreatment can be devastating financially, other types of abuse can place an older person’s life at risk. In either case, being able to recognize signs of distress and knowing where to seek support can help bring an elder abuse problem to a halt and may even save a loved one’s life.
Issues that merit further investigation to rule out elder abuse
Here are some common concerns that are often associated with elder abuse:
- An elder’s bills are not being paid or a savings account is dwindling without an apparent reason.
- A loved one’s appearance is disheveled or unkempt when he or she is supposed to receive daily living assistance.
- There are visible but unexplained injuries on an elder’s body.
- Preventable conditions are occurring, such as bed sores.
- A loved one seems agitated or afraid when a particular caretaker is in the room.
- An elder is constantly complaining of hunger or thirst.
These are all red flag issues that suggest a loved one has fallen victim to elder abuse. The first logical step to take to further investigate such matters is to request a meeting with facility administrators and a patient advocate.
Additional support is available
A concerned family member can also seek outside support from law enforcement agencies and legal representatives. This is a good idea, especially if requests for information have been denied or explanations given are not satisfactory. Being proactive is often the key to resolving an elder abuse problem.