Spotting Signs of Elder Abuse

You are probably reading this blog because you want to learn more about elder abuse and how to prevent it. A good online resource is the website of the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA). The site offers resources and information for those researching topics on elder abuse, neglect, and related policies.

One of my favorites sections of the site is its FAQs. Rather than provide that entire FAQ here, I’ll include an excerpt that focuses on spotting signs of elder abuse:

What are the warning signs of elder abuse?

While one sign does not necessarily indicate abuse, some indicators that there could be a problem:

  • Bruises, pressure marks, broken bones, abrasions, and burns may be an indication of physical abuse, neglect, or mistreatment.
  • Unexplained withdrawal from normal activities, a sudden change in alertness, and unusual depression may be indicators of emotional abuse.
  • Bruises around the breasts or genital area can occur from sexual abuse.
  • Sudden changes in financial situations may be the result of exploitation.
  • Bedsores, unattended medical needs, poor hygiene, and unusual weight loss are indicators of possible neglect.
  • Behavior such as belittling, threats, and other uses of power and control by spouses are indicators of verbal or emotional abuse.
  • Strained or tense relationships, frequent arguments between the caregiver and elderly person are also signs. Read our section on Factsheets & Publications for more information about how caregivers can prevent elder abuse.

It’s important to remain alert. The suffering is often in silence. If you notice changes in personality, behavior, or physical condition, you should start to question what is going on.

About Kevin
Kevin Coluccio was recently named one of the Top 10 Super Lawyers in Washington State. He has long history of successful elder abuse/neglect cases and has a stellar reputation for getting results for his injury clients in serious car crashes, pedestrian accidents, trucking accidents, maritime claims, and asbestos injury cases.