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Warning Signs of Elder Abuse

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Warning Signs of Elder Abuse

Identifying the Signs of Elder Abuse & Neglect

About 10% of American adults over the age of 60 have experienced some form of elder abuse. However, only about 1 in 24 cases of abuse are reported.

In light of Elder Abuse Awareness Month, the health experts at Parrish are here to share some tips to help you identify the potential warning signs of abuse and neglect.

Signs and Symptoms to Look Out For

Signs Of Physical abuse

Physical abuse happens when an elderly person experiences illness, pain, injury, distress, or even death as a result of someone intentionally using excessive force. This can include slapping, hitting, pushing, and other forms of physical force.

Common warning signs include:

  • Unexplained injuries like bruises, welts, or broken bones.
  • Irregular medication use, whether that’s overdose or inconsistent use.
  • Signs of restraint like bruising or friction burns on the wrists.
  • Caregivers refusing adult visitors without them being present.
  • Broken belongings like eyeglasses, walkers, or canes.

Signs of Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse includes verbal and nonverbal behaviors that intentionally inflict distress, fear, or mental pain to an elderly person. This may include behaviors such as humiliation, harassment, and threats.

Common signs of emotional abuse include:

  • Mental health issues like depression and anxiety.
  • Sudden expression of fearfulness.
  • Mood swings.
  • Exacerbated dementia symptoms.

Signs of Neglect

Neglect happens when an elderly person’s basic needs aren’t being met. Basic needs include food, shelter, clothing, personal hygiene, and medical care.

Common signs of neglect include:

  • Unexplained weight loss.
  • Unsanitary living conditions.
  • Wearing soiled clothing.
  • Wearing clothing that is inappropriate for the weather.
  • Untreated physical injuries.

What to Do if You Suspect Abuse or Neglect

Any person who knows or has a reasonable suspicion that an elderly person is being abused, exploited, or neglected has the right to file a complaint against the person they suspect of this behavior. Appropriate phone numbers and resources for the state of Florida can be found on the Elder Abuse Guide for Law Enforcement (EAGLE) website.

Senior Health Services in Titusville

At Parrish Healthcare, we offer a variety of services, programs, and amenities specific to the needs of our elderly patients. When you choose our geritric care team, you can be confident that you and your loved ones will receive the compassionate, high-quality care that you deserve.

Whether you’re in need of a regular check-up or you have a health concern, we’re here to help. Contact Parrish Medical Group's Geriatric Care Team at 321-383-9393 to schedule your next visit.