Recognizing Elder Abuse in Nursing Homes

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Domestic violence of any kind is a major social injustice and is never acceptable. One form of domestic violence that is sometimes overlooking in the community conversation about it is the kind done to senior citizens. This is called elder abuse and is something to be aware of especially if one of your loved ones is in a nursing home, under the care of people whom you may not know well. Being able to identify the warning signs of elder abuse can help eliminate it and protect the ones you love from such a crime.

Elder abuse can be somewhat difficult to identify because many of the potential warning signs are similar to the symptoms of dementia or mental deterioration. In addition, the perpetrators of the abuse, who are sometimes trained professionals, will try to explain away the warning signs by blaming it on medical problems. For example, behavior such as rocking, mumbling to oneself, or failure to regularly take medication could be the onset of dementia or could be signs of abuse or neglect. Remember too that physical violence isn’t the only form of abuse; neglect can be just as harmful and malicious.

One way to recognize elder abuse and separate it from the normal medical problems one has at an older age is how the caretaker treats the elderly individual. For example, if the nursing home worker frequently belittles, threatens, or seems overly controlling towards the elderly person, there may be an abuse instance in the works. These red flags in tandem with physical warning signs will help you recognize elder abuse and put a stop to it.

Anytime you can point out elder abuse, please bring it to a law enforcement agency, as it is a crime. In addition, you can also file a civil suit for personal injury against the abusive caretaker. For more information on how to handle these kinds of situations and how the Franco Law Firm can help represent your criminal or civil case, please call us at (813) 872-0929.

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