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Elder abuse: A preventable risk to patients

Your loved one is important to you, no matter how old he or she gets. You want to know that the care he or she receives is acceptable and within the standards of the medical field. Unfortunately, some situations result in elder abuse due to poor training or those who have no place being in a medical setting.

Elder abuse occurs in a number of ways including physical, sexual, domestic, financial and psychological abuse. Neglect is also a kind of elder abuse. Here are a few things you should know.

Elder abuse is a problem in the United States

It’s been estimated that between 4 and 6 percent of the elderly face abuse. The losses associated with this abuse can be devastating and range from losing incomes or savings to losing dignity or health.

The different kinds of abuse are recognizable

While not all kinds of elder abuse are recognizable immediately, there are signs to watch out for. For instance, if your loved one falls several times at a nursing home, you may suspect physical abuse or neglect is playing a role. If your loved one is reporting feeling scared or is acting differently than usual, psychological abuse or neglect could be an issue.

Sexual abuse is still possible in nursing homes between residents as well as patients and staff members. It may not always be obvious, but if your loved one states that there has been abuse or there are physical signs of a struggle, it’s worth looking into a medical check-up to look for sexual abuse.

In any case of elder abuse, it’s the right of the patient to gain relief. Family members should discuss their concerns with the director of the nursing facility and seek additional legal help if the issues they fear are present or need investigation.