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Understanding the consequences of elder abuse

Abuse in nursing homes can have far-reaching effects. Depending on the circumstances, victims of elder abuse in Florida can have a substantially shortened lifespan.

Understanding the consequences that elderly people endure because of mistreatment can encourage families to be more vigilant in protecting those they love. As people become more educated, they can push for change and expose the dangers of abuse on victims’ quality of life.

Physical injuries and impairments

Physical abuse can leave visible trauma including bruises, cuts and broken bones. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, the likelihood of an earlier death skyrockets 300% for victims of elder abuse. Because older people’s bodies lack efficient cell communication, injuries take significantly longer to heal. Even if abuse is not persistent, a single injury resulting from mistreatment can deteriorate a victim’s well-being making a full recovery unlikely. Other physical injuries that may result from abuse include the following:

  • Head trauma
  • Dental problems
  • Sleep disturbances
  • STD’s
  • Chronic pain

Mental and emotional trauma

Elder abuse also includes psychological and emotional mistreatment. The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, National Institute on Aging reports that elderly victims of psychological abuse often develop debilitating depression, anxiety and fear of the people around them. They can feel guilty, especially if their perpetrator insists that all suffering is the victim’s fault.

Victims suffering from elder abuse may not have the resources or courage to report their experiences. Families should regularly assess their loved ones’ demeanor and watch for signs of mistreatment. Proactive intervention may prevent problems from worsening to the point of tragedy.

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