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Injuries Commonly Sustained by Elder Abuse Victims

AbuseThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that approximately one in ten people over the age of 60 experience elder abuse. Some are abused by an adult child or in-home caretaker. Others experience abuse while residing in a nursing home or assisted living facility. All of them are at risk for serious and potentially fatal injuries. Learn more about the injuries commonly sustained by victims of elder abuse, including what you can do if you suspect it may be happening to someone that you love.

Examining the Types of Elder Abuse

When one thinks of elder abuse, their thoughts typically turn to physical abuse. However, this is not the only type of abuse that an elderly individual may experience while in the care of another. Other types of elder abuse include:

  • Emotional abuse,
  • Sexual abuse,
  • Medication abuse,
  • Financial abuse, and
  • Neglect.
Signs and Symptoms of Elder Abuse

Each type of abuse has its own effects on the individual – some of which can be fatal. Others can significantly diminish the elder’s quality (and potentially quantity) of life. As such, it is important that family members and friends know how to recognize the signs and symptoms of abuse or neglect, including:

  • Bruises,
  • Cuts,
  • Welts,
  • Bed sores,
  • Nightmares,
  • Dehydration,
  • Nutrition issues,
  • Broken bones,
  • Sleep issues,
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder,
  • Lacerations,
  • Sudden or uncharacteristically frequent money troubles,
  • Skin tears,
  • Helplessness,
  • Depression,
  • Anxiety, and
  • Poor hygiene.

It is important to keep in mind that this is, by no means, an exhaustive list of the signs and symptoms of elder abuse. So, if you notice other strange changes in behavior, health, or physical appearance and suspect that it may be due to elder abuse, trust your instincts. After all, it is far better to report it and be wrong than to not report it and be right.

A Closer Look at Some Common Elder Abuse Injuries

Some of the signs and symptoms of elder abuse are also injuries (i.e. bruises, broken bones, posttraumatic stress disorder, etc.). However, there are others injuries that may occur outside of the abuse itself. For example, an elder abuse victim may experience exacerbation of their current conditions. They may become so nutrient deficient that they become ill, which can place them at risk for fatality, or they may experience sudden health problems because of medication abuse (i.e. being given a sedative that does not mix well with their other medications).

When You Suspect Elder Abuse

If you suspect that someone you love is being abused by a caretaker, facility, or family member, it is crucial that you take immediate action to prevent further abuse. Start by contacting the elder abuse hotline. This will trigger an investigation into the situation, giving you peace of mind and it could provide you with evidence if a personal injury case is warranted. If you have the power to do so, you may also wish to remove the elder from the suspected abuser’s care. It is also advised that you contact an attorney to determine if compensation may be owed.

At Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard, LLP, we strive to protect society’s most vulnerable members. Compassionate and experienced, our San Jose elder abuse lawyers can examine your case and represent you and your loved one throughout the entire process. Whatever the situation, we will pursue the most favorable outcome. Schedule your free consultation to get started. Call us at (408) 289-1417.

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