Elder abuse is the sad reality of many senior adults living in a nursing home or with caretakers. Often, seniors won’t come forward to their loved ones and admit what’s happening to them. Then, there are the most vulnerable, who physically cannot tell you what’s happening to them. This is why it’s imperative to recognize the signs of elder abuse.
Bed Sores and Pressure Sores
Bed sores and pressure sores often result when a patient isn’t moved often enough. The patient develops open wounds that could become infected. Even with proper care, bed sores aren’t always easy to heal. Health conditions such as diabetes can complicate the healing process.
Sepsis is a life-threatening medical condition that occurs when a dangerous infection enters the bloodstream. The early signs of sepsis include a body temperature above 101 or below 96.8, a heart rate greater than 90 beats per minute, and a respiratory rate greater than 20 breaths per minute. Sepsis can quickly get worse and cause a change in mental status, lowered platelet count, difficulty breathing, abnormal heart rhythm, and abdominal pain. It can be deadly if left untreated.
Abuse of the elderly can take many forms. The most common forms are physical, sexual, and verbal abuse. Your loved one may seem more withdrawn or begin acting out. Financial abuse is also common.
Injuries from Restraints
Injuries from the use of restraints include strains, sprains, bruising, and even broken bones.
Malnutrition or Dehydration
Parched lips, weight loss, weakness, and fatigue are just a few of the signs of malnutrition and dehydration.
Know the Signs of Elder Abuse
Because seniors may not or cannot tell you what’s happening to them, it’s important that you recognize the signs of elder abuse so that you can help your loved one get the assistance they need. Pay close attention to the physical changes you see in your loved one. Also, watch for mental changes such as sudden fear, withdrawal, depression, or acting out.