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March 17, 2017
Recognizing signs of elder abuse

One of the most difficult parts of adulthood is becoming the caretaker of an elderly parent. As our parents age, our roles slowly reverse. Making the decision to move your father or mother into a nursing home or assisted living facility is very difficult. You worry about their health and safety, much as they did for you during your childhood.

It is important to take an active role in your elderly parent’s life, especially once they have moved into an elder care facility. By being a constant presence, you can stay alert for signs of elder abuse that may be occurring. Knowing the signs of elder abuse can help you key into a bad situation and remove your parent. If your elderly parent has suffered elder abuse, an attorney with experience in elder law can advise you on the best course of action.

Signs of physical abuse

Physical abuse includes striking, excessive shaking, unnecessary restraints, force-feeding and intentionally providing the wrong medications. In general, it is any intentional use of force that causes injuries, pain or any other kind of impairment to a victim. When visiting your parent, look for bruising, burns or even sprains and fractures.

If you parent often has recurring injuries that no one seems to be able to provide suitable explanations for, there could be elder abuse. Other signs of physical abuse include depression, anxiety, hesitation to speak openly and unsanitary conditions.

Signs of psychological abuse

If your parent is showing signs of unexplained weight loss, having problems sleeping, or is generally non-responsive, there could be psychological or mental abuse occurring. Another important indicator of mental abuse is reacting in a fearful manner if the perpetrator is present. If your parent is displaying any kind of unusual behavior, such as rocking, biting or scratching, consider moving him or her to another facility.

Signs of financial abuse

Friends, family and close caretakers are often the most likely to commit financial abuse. This type of abuse occurs when there is improper use of an elderly individual’s money, property or other assets. Beware of new friends or family members that previously had no interest in your parent but suddenly become more involved.

Suspicious signatures, new names on accounts and recently signed legal documents are signs that someone may be taking advantage of your parent. If you start to notice your parent’s possessions go missing or strange activity on bank statements, you may be dealing with financial abuse.

Get the help you need

If you suspect that your parent or loved one is suffering from abuse, it is important to take action immediately. Let a family law attorney in the Ventura area help get the justice your loved one deserves.

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