What Is Elder Abuse: Your Complete Guide to Saving a Life

Elder abuse impacts about 10% of seniors. Different types of elderly abuse include physical, psychological/verbal, financial, and neglect.

What is elder abuse, exactly? Do you know how to report elder abuse when you see it? What are the signs of elder abuse you need to watch out for?

Keep reading to find out. In this guide, we’ll review everything you need to know.

Read on to learn more about elderly abuse.

What is Elder Abuse?

First, let’s answer the question that’s on your mind: what is elder abuse, exactly?

Elder abuse can include abuse, neglect, or exploitation. Older adults can’t always defend themselves. If their caregivers fail to meet a specific standard of care, it could fall under abuse.

The laws and definitions of elder abuse differ based on your location.

Types of Elder Abuse

In order to answer the question “what is elder abuse,” it helps to understand the types of elderly abuse.

Physical abuse involved inflicting physical pain on a senior citizen. This can involve restraining, bruising, or slapping a senior.

Abuse isn’t always physical, though. Someone could verbally abuse your loved one. They might demean them or call them names.

Verbal abuse is also referred to as emotional abuse. Someone could cause your loved one anguish, distress, or mental pain. They could intimidate or threaten your loved one.

Neglect is a common form of elder abuse in nursing homes. The nursing home staff is meant to provide your loved one with food, protection, and healthcare. If they fail to meet this standard of care, they’re abusing your loved one.

Someone could sexually abuse your loved one as well.

Keep an eye out for signs of elder abuse, including:

  • Bruises, abrasions, burns, pressure marks, broken bones
  • Bruises around the genital area of breasts
  • Financial changes
  • Strained relationships
  • Unexplained withdrawal
  • Bedsores, poor hygiene, weight loss, and unattended medical needs

If you notice these signs of elder abuse, report it right away.

Reporting Abuse

Want to know how to report elder abuse?

First, consider where the senior is currently living. If they’re in a nursing home, tell the director or manager right away.

Is elder abuse putting your loved one in danger? Call the police and report the abuse right away. Calling the police will help protect your loved one.

It could save other potential victims.

You can also call your local elder abuse hotline. Contact your local:

  • Department of Community Health
  • State Long-Term Care Ombudsman
  • Adult Protect Services

Contact an elderly abuse lawyer as well. You can get a consultation today.

Elderly abuse falls under personal injury cases. There are about 135,221 personal injury lawyers in the US. Make sure to choose a lawyer who specializes in elder abuse cases.

With their help, you can file a lawsuit to receive compensation for your loved one’s damages, pain, and suffering.

What is Elder Abuse?: Your Guide to Taking Action

To recap, what is elder abuse? Elder abuse includes any negligent, knowing, or intentional acts that cause your loved one harm. If you notice the signs of elder abuse, report it right away.

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