Signs of Elder Abuse

When you put your loved one in the hands of another person, you expect them to get the loving treatment you’d give them at home. You may not be able to take care of them, but you expect the person in charge of their health to do the right thing. Unfortunately, that’s not always what happens. Instead, you suspect that your loved one is being abused by their caretakers.

Unfortunately, you’re not certain that that’s the case here. You don’t want to throw around an accusation if you’re not certain, either. Instead, you’ll need to look for certain signs that your loved one might be suffering, and take that evidence to an attorney.

Signs of Bodily Harm

One of the more obvious signs are the physical manifestations of injuries. While these injuries may not always point to abuse, physical abuse is a serious problem in nursing homes and can leave your loved one suffering.

Sometimes, accidents do happen. Your family member may have tried to stand on their own, were walking without assistance, or otherwise fell and injured themselves. Sometimes, that means they suffered head trauma, broken bones, or at least a few bruises.

These accidents aren’t always the case, however. Many nursing home staff members have been caught kicking, hitting, or pushing residents. These injuries can be physically traumatic, and in some cases, they can be deadly.

Their Mental State

In some cases, their abusers may not have left behind physical signs of abuse, but instead, your loved one is scarred mentally. These signs of abuse might not be so obvious, but you might have noticed some changes in your loved one’s behavior. For example, they might be exhibiting some of the following signs of psychological abuse:

  • They’re withdrawn or seem frightened
  • They mumble to themselves
  • They’re confused more often than before
  • They’re disinterested in things they once enjoyed
  • Their sleep patterns have changed

Any of these signs can indicate that your loved one is experiencing psychological abuse. Unfortunately, because this type of abuse doesn’t leave physical scars, it may be harder to tell. Even so, your attorney can review the signs that they’re showing and help you act when your loved one is abused.

Any Changes May Be a Problem

Unfortunately, elder abuse is a common phenomenon, and your loved one may be suffering because of it. Depending on their condition, it can be difficult to tell, but if you’ve noticed that they’ve taken a turn for the worse, you may need to investigate.

Often, this depends on your loved one. For example, your mother might be especially tidy and careful. However, now her clothes are stained, and her hair is dirty and unbrushed. These are signs that she might not be getting the care she needs.  

It’s an unfortunate reality, but elder abuse can happen at any time, and your family might suffer for it. That’s why you’ll need to be vigilant about negative changes in their appearance or actions. Don’t let them suffer because you didn’t notice. Instead, make sure you’re looking out for these common signs of elder abuse, and get a San Diego elder abuse lawyer on their side.