It might be difficult to recognize signs of elder abuse and neglect right away. Often, abuse and neglect take place over a long period of time and the symptoms do not immediately manifest themselves. Additionally, elderly people may occasionally either have difficulty communicating the existence of the abuse or be too ashamed or embarrassed to reveal it.
However, there are some specific signs of elder abuse and neglect that you can watch for, especially if your loved one is living in a nursing home. These signs include:
- Physical evidence. Be on the lookout for pieces of physical evidence like bruises, welts or scars, especially if there doesn’t seem to be any reasonable explanation for them. Even seemingly benign things like broken glasses could be evidence of physical abuse. In some situations, caregivers may refuse to allow you to see your loved one alone. This should be considered a warning sign as well.
- Emotional evidence. Specific signs for emotional abuse might reflect symptoms of dementia: rocking, mumbling to oneself, etc. The victim might seem sullen or withdrawn for unexplained reasons, or begin crying for seemingly no reason at all.
- Evidence of neglect. Evidence of neglect could include unusual weight loss or malnutrition, or untreated physical problems like bed sores. Elderly people being neglected often have poor living conditions. There is likely to be dirt or bugs, with soiled clothes or bedding. They may also simply be left alone for unreasonably long periods of time.
- Financial exploitation. Evidence of financial exploitation include unexplained large withdrawals from your loved one’s account, or sudden changes in their financial standing. There might also be mysterious changes in their estate plans or unusual spending patterns.
Be sure to keep an eye out for any of these signs so that you can protect your loved ones. If you believe they have been victims of abuse or neglect, contact the skilled San Diego elder abuse attorneys with Thorsnes Bartolotta McGuire right away.