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Elder abuse: Signs of physical abuse and what you can do

Elder abuse: Signs of physical abuse and what you can do

On Behalf of | Nov 26, 2021 | Nursing Home Neglect & Abuse

Physical abuse that takes place in a nursing home is one of the worst kinds of abuse that can occur. Elders in a nursing home may not be able to defend themselves against rough handling or attacks, so it is important that their friends and family keep a close eye on them and the people who are caring for them.

Physical signs of abuse are not always obvious. If staff members dress your loved one, they could use bandages or wraps to conceal bruises or injuries. Long sleeves and long pants may also cover the signs of injuries that have taken place. This is why it’s a smart choice to have a sincere conversation with your loved one about telling you if they have been touched inappropriately or abused in the nursing home. If that’s not something they can do, then you should make sure to help them change clothing while looking for signs of injury or set up an external medical appointment where a medical provider can check for the physical signs of abuse.

What are some common signs of physical abuse you may notice?

Usually, physical abuse includes acts like hitting or scratching. This kind of abuse may leave bruises, lacerations or red marks on your loved one’s skin. You may also start to notice changes in their behavior. Some other red flags to watch out for include:

  • An increase in reports about your loved one falling
  • An increase in your loved one’s injuries, like broken bones or bruises
  • Changes in your loved one’s behaviors, such as an uptick in anxiety or aggression around certain caregivers

Elderly abuse is unfortunately not as uncommon as you would hope. It is believed that at least 10% of all people ages 65 and older experience abuse each year. They may experience different kinds of abuse, like neglect or financial exploitation, physical abuse or psychological abuse. Elders who go through abuse often experience health issues and have an increased risk of mortality. Physical abuse occurs in around 1.6% of reported cases, so if you feel that something isn’t right with your loved one’s care, it’s time to look into it and take action.

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