Elder abuse is a horrible type of abuse during which an older person is exposed to physical harm, emotional distress and/or financial losses as a result of manipulation or coercion. Many kinds of abuse exist, these just being a few.
The elderly are prone to abuse due to having an inability to protect themselves. Some elderly individuals have dementia or Alzheimer's disease, making it hard to tell what is and is not happening to him or her. Others have physical impairments that make it hard for them to defend themselves. Still others won't speak out because of a fear of further injury or repercussions.
Who is most likely to suffer from abuse?
There are a few groups of people more likely to be abused than others. These include:
- Elderly women
- Those with memory problems like dementia
- Elderly people with no nearby friends or relatives
- People with disabilities
While elder abuse can happen to any older individual, it's most likely when the person depends on others for help in daily life. People who are frail have a particular risk of becoming victims of abuse.
What are signs of abuse you can recognize?
Some signs of abuse that are easy to recognize in the elderly include:
- Unexplained bruising, scars or burns
- Trouble sleeping
- Signs of trauma
- Withdrawing from activities, speech and interaction
- Messy, dirty or unwashed appearance
- Bed sores
If you feel that a loved one is suffering from abuse, you can help. Getting the law involved keeps your loved one safe and helps you hold the abusers accountable.