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The Signs and Effects of Elder Abuse

Elder Abuse

Elder abuse is a serious problem in nursing home care. Studies show one-third of U.S. nursing homes received citations for some form of abuse, while 10% of those occurrences put patients at risk of physical and mental injury as a result. Vulnerable older adults are also at risk of abuse by workers in skilled care facilities or family members who provide their care. These staggering statistics estimate that 1 in 10 seniors over 65 will suffer abuse every year.

Types of Elder Abuse

These are six of the most frequent types of elder abuse:

  1. Emotional
  2. Physical
  3. Sexual
  4. Neglect
  5. Abandonment
  6. Financial

Elder physical abuse is marked by warning signs such as bruises, broken bones, dehydration and restraint or genital injuries. Abused seniors often fear the individuals assigned to their care.

Elderly adults are also at risk of financial abuse from persons entrusted to look after their financial accounts and estates. The devastating effects of any form of abuse can have permanent physical and psychological consequences and, frequently, the incidents go unreported.

It is critical to report any signs of suspected or observed elder abuse. Anyone in a caregiver role should receive regular training and support to prepare them for the tasks of ongoing care. This is the best way to protect seniors and ensure a good quality of life.