What To Know If Your Loved One Is A Victim Of Elder Abuse

Do you have a loved one that is under the care of another person, and fear that they are a victim of elder abuse? it's hard to know what is going on with their care at all times, which is why you need to be on the lookout for evidence of neglect

Reasons Your Loved One Isn't Speaking Up

Elder abuse is not something that you may find out firsthand. It is possible that your loved one won't or can't report the abuse due to several reasons. They may lack the capacity to report it, with them simply not knowing who they can talk to or how to do it. An illness can leave them unable to report abuse, with them being physically unable to speak. Some people have a fear of their caretakers, especially if they are in a nursing home facility, since reporting abuse may result in a change of their care. 

Examples Of Physical Abuse

Physical abuse can come in many forms, and may not always be obvious to you. While many people can identify bruises on a loved one, there are other things that you may not notice right away. This includes things such as physical restraints that a person was not ordered to use by a doctor. Force-feeding is another form of physical abuse, as well as the opposite by depriving someone of food or water. A good way to think of it is that if it is something that you can do to a toddler or infant that would not be right to do, you can't do that to an elderly person either.

Examples Of Neglect

The most common example of neglect is bedsores, which happen when someone is not turned in their bed and they are constantly laying on the same spot. Bedsores don't happen overnight. Your loved one may also have rashes, give off an odor, be wearing soiled clothing, or have issues with malnutrition.

Evidence You Can Gather

If your loved one has wounds on them, it is a good idea to take photographs and measure the wounds to see if they are getting better or worse. See if you can get statements from other people in the care facility about the treatment of your loved one that they have observed. If your loved one is able to do so, they should also make a personal statement. You should also take photographs of the environment to document things such as cleanliness.  It is also advised that you work with a lawyer, who can help you gather the evidence you need to win an elder abuse case in court. 

For more information, contact an elder abuse lawyer.