Elder abuse is something that shouldn’t happen, regardless of the situation the elder is in. Whether they’re being cared for by an in-home aide or are in a nursing home, they deserve to be respected and to receive appropriate care.

Unfortunately, elder abuse does happen. In fact, it’s believed that one out of every 10 people from 60 years old and up have experienced elder abuse, neglect or exploitation.

What is worse is that for every single case that is reported, it’s believed that there may be as many as 23 that go without recognition. That kind of suffering is horrifying, and something that must be taken seriously.

What are the consequences of elder abuse?

The consequences of elder abuse can be physical or psychological. Some immediate physical effects may include:

  • Physical pain
  • Dehydration
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Sleep disturbances
  • An increased risk of premature death
  • Bedsores
  • Infections

Psychological effects could include:

  • Feelings of hopelessness or helplessness
  • Unusual changes in behavior
  • An increased risk of anxiety or fear reactions
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

What can you do to help someone who has been abused or who you believe is a victim of elder abuse?

If you believe that your loved one is a victim of elder abuse, don’t wait. Report the injuries or the abuse you suspect to a medical provider or the nursing home director. You have the right to call the authorities and to have them come to the scene. In an emergency, always call 911.

Your attorney can talk to you more about protecting your loved one’s rights after they’re in a safer place and stable condition.