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What is elder neglect, and where does it happen?

Elder neglect is a horrible problem that can occur in an elderly person's home, in an assisted-living facility or in hospitals. The elderly are often preyed upon because they are unable to protect themselves. They may feel they can't speak out or are physically unable to do so.

Neglect occurs in a few ways. It can happen when a professional fails to monitor for calls or help-button notifications from patients in a facility. It can happen when a caretaker gets too busy and skips seeing an assisted-living patient for too many days in a row. It can even happen because of laziness or disregard for a person's life.

What does elder neglect look like?

No two cases are exactly the same, but one similarity is involved in most. That is the fact that most older adults are abused where they live, whether that's at their own home or in an assisted-living facility or nursing home.

Elder abuse is sometimes physical. People may notice it if there are physical signs of abuse like bruising or an unusual number of broken bones or falls reported. Other kinds of neglect and abuse come in the form of emotional or psychological abuse. Many elderly people develop issues related to deteriorating mental capacity, but that doesn't mean they should be taken advantage of, threatened or manipulated. These individuals still deserve respect from those around them.

If your loved one is a victim of neglect, don't feel that you have to stay quiet. Your loved one deserves to have those responsible held accountable for their actions and to feel safe.

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