Preventing Elder Abuse: What You Can Do

Serving up justice one legal issue at a time.

An auto accident lawyer in Chicago recently told Justice in Illinois about how an elderly friend was abused in a nursing home. This brought our attention to the atrocities that elderly individuals are dealing with. Elderly adults are vulnerable members of our communities; they don’t have the physical or mental capabilities of defending themselves from abuse.

Elderly adults deserve justice when they’ve experienced abuse at the hands of caregivers or negligent nursing homes. However, abuse can also be prevented before it occurs. 

There are many things you can do to prevent elder abuse from happening, but you will want to have the knowledge and tools needed to spot elder abuse or potential abuse and stop it before it destroys the lives of an elder and their family.

What Is Elder Abuse?

Abuse of the elderly can take many forms. An elderly adult can be physically abused. This is any type of violent physical contact such as hitting, shaking, pushing, punching, pinching, and slapping. 

Elders can also suffer sexual abuse, which is any type of non-consensual sexual contact. 

An elderly individual can also be emotionally and mentally abused. For instance, belittling, teasing, taunting, ignoring, or embarrassing the elder are examples of this type of abuse. 

Another form of abuse is neglect. This is when an elder’s needs aren’t being met. For example, not providing the elder with nutritious food, medical treatment, or care. 

Finally, an elder can also be financially abused. This is when a person seeks to gain financially by exploiting the elder’s diminished mental and physical capabilities. 

What Are Some of the Signs that an Elder Is Being Abused?

If you hope to prevent elder abuse from happening, you need to spot signs early that something is not right. For starters, you need to listen to the elderly adult about any concerns they are having. Don’t brush off these concerns. 

Next, you can look for signs of physical abuse, such as bruises, cuts, broken bones, and unexplained injuries. There are emotional and behavioral signs that can indicate abuse, such as the elderly person showing signs of fear, anxiety, stress, or withdrawn type of behavior. 

Signs of neglect are malnourishment, bedsores, weight loss, and poor hygiene. Financial exploitation can be spotted by keeping a careful watch on an elder’s financial accounts and personal property.

This is not an exhaustive list, so make sure you don’t ignore anything that seems out of the ordinary. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to protecting your beloved family member from abuse. 

Justice in Illinois: Fighting Injustice Wherever it May Be Hiding

Now you know a little more about elder abuse and how to stop it before it ruins lives. Justice in Illinois is here to help you stay informed, because everyone deserves justice when they’ve been wronged.