How to Spot Nursing Home Elder Neglect and Abuse

Responsibility of Caregivers

As caregivers for our loved ones we need to be aware that elder abuse is real and we need to work together with medical professionals and elder care support staff to identify and stop elder abuse.

Unfortunately, Elder abuse of our most vulnerable loved ones comes in many forms and many sources.

Types of Abuse Too Look Out For:

Physical abuse which can include sexual abuse.

Financial abuse.

Emotional abuse.

Elder abuse often happens in the places where our loved ones should feel safe.  In their own homes, relative’s homes and elder care facilities.  It is incumbent on all of us to be aware of the signs of Elder Abuse and report it.

What to look for:

Physical/sexual abuse:

Unexplained bruising on the arms, legs, torso, cuts or scratches for no apparent reason, exhibits pain when gentle touched, burns, broken bones (even once), unkempt appearance, dirty clothing.

Sexual Abuse:

Bruising, tenderness or bleeding from or near the individual’s genital areas.

Financial Abuse:

Unexplained missing personal possessions, moneys, forged checks, retirement account money, identity theft are a number of things to look for.

Psychological Abuse:

This abuse is often the most difficult to assess.  Verbal harassment, demining comments, yelling, threats, ignoring the elders needs and or keeping visitors away.

As we age we can become unable to take care of ourselves personally and emotionally.  For caregivers who are relatives or assisted care workers in charge of the daily care of our Elderly we all need to work together to call into question any concerns we may have about the safety and well-being of our loved ones.

Many states have laws mandating the reporting of Elder Abuse.  It however goes unreported far too often.  Caregivers need to document the abuse as well as they can.  This should include photos of the bruises, cuts, scratches or broken bones.  Anecdotal records of reports from the elder or other bystanders who may have witnessed the abuse or may have first-hand information about the abuse.

You need to apprise yourself of the reporting options that are available in your state.

By reporting abuse, you are advocating for our Elders at a time that they cannot advocate for themselves.