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What is Abuse? The Elderly
Signs That An Elderly Person is Being Abused
1- Physical Abuse
2- Frequent injuries such as bruises, burns, broken bones, especially when the explanation for the cause of injury does not seem plausible.
3- Overmedication or sedation, or lack of medication.
4- Multiple bruises in various stages of healing, particularly bruises on inner arms or thighs.
5- The victim appears frightened or withdrawn.
6- The victim has been locked in a room or tied up.
7- Emotional/Psychological Abuse
8- A sudden dramatic change in the victim's behavior: The victim appears withdrawn, depressed.
9- The caretaker won't let the victim speak for him or herself.
10- The caretaker scolds, insults, threatens victim.
11- Sexual Abuse:
12- Evidence of sexually transmitted disease.
Irritation or injuries to mouth, genitals or anus.
13- The victim acts upset when changed or bathed.
14-The victim appears fearful when with a particular person.
16- Filthy living environment.
17-Lack of medical attention.
18- Lack of dentures, hearing aid, glasses.
19- Malnutrition, dehydration.
20- Clothing is inadequate for the climate.
21- Poor hygiene.
22- Unusual activity in bank account, sudden large withdrawals, expenditures that are not consistent with the victim's past financial history.
23- Use of Automated Teller Machines by person with no history of using ATMs or who cannot access one because of disability.
24- Signing over rights on legal papers without understanding what the papers mean.
25- Eviction for nonpayment of rent, house in foreclosure, utilities shut off, lack of food, clothing or personal supplies.
26- Title to home signed over in exchange for promise of "lifelong care."
Elder abuse is the most unrecognized, least treated, and most ignored type of abuse in the USA. The reasons are numerous. The biggest reason, lack of knowledge. People don't see it because they have no idea what to look for. You may of even seen it yourself, and had no idea what was going on.
It shows it's nasty face in many ways. Can be as drastic as child abuse, as subtle as an elder not being able to eat, because the care giver is stealing the monthly funds that the elder gets from State, or retirement funds.
Even though we are discussing the elderly here, these very same things can happen to any adult (18 and up) who are disabled, or in some way can't function without adult supervision. It could be someone also who wont openly admit they need help, and someone is taking advantage of them because of it. Like I said. Abuse has no boundaries it does not discriminate. So take a closer look around you.
This type of abuse is done by caregivers, or a family member(s). It can be hard to spot. A lot of it can be stopped simply by not putting a family member, or caregiver in total control of the person. Instead, the whole family should be well aware of every aspect in their elders life. You should have a knowledge of all funds coming in, and going out. A list of all medications, List of all Doctors. All illnesses being treated at that time. Check to make sure they have all of their medications that were prescribed to them. Make sure their is food, and shelter conditions are antiquate. Make sure the elder member is clean. The list above, is extensive. Go over the list, and make a mental note of it. Then make sure there are no differences, between what your check found, and what another family member found. In other words, keep in contact with the other family members, and sit down and discuss your findings.
And for goodness sakes, do surprise checks! Don't do these checks, so regular to where they know you are coming that day! Pick different times, and days. When you are satisfied that things are going well, you can, or may want to slack a little. But still, you need to check back often. You never should give them total control. Never.
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