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Debunking elder abuse myths to improve your awareness

Protecting elder loved ones has become a common goal among Florida residents. These family members are often quite vulnerable due to age itself, illness or injury. Finding a safe place for elders to live and thrive is important for families who cannot open their own homes to aging relatives. While nursing home abuse and neglect are concerns, it is crucial to make sure you do not fall victim to some of the common myths that surround elder abuse.

-- Physical nursing home abuse is easy to spot: Unfortunately, this is not always the case. In fact, sometimes the abuse can be hidden so well you might not see it with your eyes. For example, some amount of bruising is relatively normal in the elderly and might not seem to be a concern. Some painful and injurious forms of nursing home abuse may leave no marks at all, according to one gerontology professor.

-- Older people will let you know if abuse occurs: Again, this is not necessarily so. For a variety of reasons, a victimized elder may never report the abuse. Sometimes it is because they blame themselves for the behavior or because the abuser threatened the victim.

-- Elder abuse only occurs in nursing homes: Sadly, elder abuse can happen at home or in other kinds of elder care facilities. The point is, most abuse occurs at the hands of someone the victim should be able to trust.

Regardless of where the abuse and injury occurred, swift action is crucial. Taking legal steps immediately protects your elder from future harm while empowering him or her to hold the abuser to account. An attorney can provide you with additional information about nursing home abuse in Florida.

Source: Forbes, "6 Myths About Elder Abuse," Emily Gurnon, June 15, 2017

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