Elder maltreatment is slowly becoming more prevalent within our country. However, most people are not aware of the most common symptoms of abuse or neglect. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, 1 in 10 older adults will experience abuse—whether it’s sexual, physical, financial, or psychological. Although the chance of experiencing abuse is 1 in 10, the White House Conference on Aging claimed that only 1 in 23 cases are actually reported. The topic of elder maltreatment needs to be discussed more, and the general public needs to be aware of the symptoms.
U.S. News created a list of warning signs of abuse and neglect in order to shed light on the topic. Some of the most common signs include bruises, broken bones, burns, abrasions, unexplained withdrawals, unusual depression, changes in alertness, financial situation changes, bedsores, poor hygiene, weight loss, verbal bullying and threats, and frequent arguments between the caregiver and the patient.
These warning signs are very helpful in detecting cases of maltreatment, but there should be many people aware of the patient’s well-being. Elders should be able to trust their family, but it is said that about 80% of abusers are family members. It is important to call the state’s adult protective services if you are suspicious of elder maltreatment, abuse, or neglect.
Image Source: http://www.sbcountyda.org/portals/8/ProsecutingCriminals/ELDER-ABUSE-AWARENESS.jpg