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What are the Warning Signs of Elder Abuse?

Elder abuse is a pervasive problem that is only likely to become worse as the population ages. Elder abuse can occur in nursing homes and care facilities and it can occur in private homes.  Paid caregivers and even family members who provide care may engage in abusive behavior. Elder abuse is illegal and it puts the most vulnerable population at risk.  When elder abuse occurs, victims and their families can file a civil lawsuit to hold nursing homes and home care providers accountable for the damage that they cause. my-grandpa-in-mirror-1506073

Far too many seniors are not able to speak up for themselves to stop abuse. As a result, it is important for medical professionals, caregivers, family members, and friends of seniors to be aware of the warning signs of elder abuse. If you visit a loved one in a nursing home or care facility and you see any possible indicators of abuse, take action to get help for the residents of the facility.  You can report elder abuse to law enforcement, and you should contact an attorney to learn what your options are for helping an abuse victim you care about to make a claim for civil damages.

A civil lawsuit for elder abuse not only provides compensation for the abuse victim and his or her family for economic and non-financial loss, but it can also help to act as a deterrent. When nursing care facilities know there is a very real threat of litigation and a jury awarding damages, they may be more careful to prevent abuse. An Irvine elder abuse lawyer at Brown & Charbonneau, LLP can help victims to obtain evidence of abuse and to prove their case in court so they can hold the nursing home accountable for harm.

What are the Warning Signs of Elder Abuse?

Elder abuse takes many different forms including physical abuse, emotional abuse, financial abuse, and sexual abuse. Neglect is also a form of elder abuse. Caregivers who take on responsibility for providing for vulnerable seniors have an obligation to fulfill their duty and ensure that seniors have their basic needs met.

There are different warnings signs of each different kind of abuse. It is important for anyone who cares about older seniors or who visits nursing homes to be aware of all of the different warning signs of elder abuse. Some of the indicators that abuse may be occurring include:

  • A sudden change in personality, loss of interest in activities, and depression.  Seniors may become withdrawn when victimized by physical or emotional abuse.
  • Bruises, cuts, scratches, burn marks,  broken bones, or other unexplained injuries that could be an indicator of physical abuse.
  • Marks on the wrists that could indicate unnecessary restraint.
  • A senior who seems overmedicated or drugged (chemical abuse, or dosing seniors with antipsychotics to make them easier to manage, is common).
  • Ripped clothing or missing underwear.
  • Redness in the genital area.
  • An STD diagnosis.
  • Broken eye glasses.
  • Unexplained or sudden weight loss.

These are just a few of many warning signs of elder abuse. If you believe abuse may be occurring, contact an Irvine elder abuse lawyer at Brown & Charbonneau, LLP today to learn about your legal options.