Elder abuse takes many forms. In some cases, the elderly suffer from direct physical abuse, emotional abuse, sexual abuse and much more. At times, actions taken against them can include multiple types of abuse at the same time.
Elderly individuals have many struggles. They're losing their abilities, so they may not remember as well as they used to or could struggle moving from one place to another. Some have chronic diseases or illnesses to manage on top of handling the signs of aging.
When an elderly person suffers injuries of any kind, it really is more serious than when the same thing happens to a younger person. Even an injury that a young person would think of as relatively minor can have a drastic impact on an elderly person's life.
The elderly are certainly at risk when it comes to financial abuse. A lot of scams specifically target them. One part of the reason is that they often have excess money -- you can't scam someone who doesn't have what you want -- and scammers target their life savings. Another part of the issue, though, is that they really are more susceptible.
Elder abuse is one of the problems that the elderly may face when they're in the care of others. In the short-term, abuse might lead to small injuries or symptoms like dehydration or a change in behavior. However, as time goes on, the impact of long-term abuse becomes much more apparent.
One of the biggest problems with elder abuse is that the elderly may not actually report it. Sometimes, they stay silent out of fear. Other times, they have dementia or other cognitive disorders that make reporting impossible.
Has your loved one suffered emotional abuse in a nursing home? Perhaps it never went beyond that, or maybe the emotional abuse was just the first step, and it then turned into financial or physical abuse as well. Regardless, you may find yourself wondering why it happened. Why would a staff member do such a thing?
Do you ever feel like your elderly loved one -- an aging parent, perhaps -- is simply more frail than they used to be? You can't put your finger on a specific issue or a disorder, but you know what you see. They appear frail and at a high risk for injury. You worry about things that didn't seem like a big deal before, such as a simple fall in the kitchen.
Elder abuse is a usually a willful act where someone is trying to harm your loved one. Whether that's a caregiver or a doctor, if you suspect or learn that someone has hurt someone you love, it is hurtful to you, too.
The elderly are fairly vulnerable when they are getting assistance from caregivers. They depend on these people. The unfortunate reality is that caregivers may attempt to take advantage of the situation for their own financial gain. It's important to know what signs to look for and what scams tend to target the elderly.