Elder home abuse is a serious problem that is only getting worse. According to a recent National Center on Elder Abuse report, there has been a 20% increase in cases of elder home abuse over the past decade. This problem affects both men and women. If your loved one is being abused, you need to get suggestions from nursing home abuse lawyers on what you can do to protect your loved ones and bring the abusers to justice.
The different types of elder home abuse
There are four main types of elder abuse: physical, emotional, sexual, and financial.
Physical abuse is when someone causes physical harm to an older adult. This can include hitting, shoving, kicking, or using a weapon on them.
Emotional abuse is when someone uses words or actions to hurt an older adult’s feelings or scare them. This can include yelling, name-calling, threatening, or isolating them from their friends and family.
Sexual abuse is when someone forces an older adult to engage in sexual activity against their will. This can include rape, sexual assault, or any unwanted sexual touching.
Financial abuse happens when someone takes advantage of an older person’s finances without their permission or knowledge. This can include stealing their money, using their credit cards without approval, or coercing them into signing over their property.
The signs of elder home abuse
There are many signs of elder home abuse, and they can be challenging to spot. However, there are some common signs that may indicate abuse is occurring. These include:
- Bruises, cuts, or other marks on the body that are unexplained or seem to be from restraint
- Isolation from family, friends, and activities
- Sudden changes in mood or behaviour
- Withdrawal from previously enjoyed activities
- Loss of interest in personal appearance
- Fearfulness or anxiety around certain people or situations
Taking action is essential if you notice any of these signs in a loved one. Talk to the person about your concerns and get help from a nursing home abuse lawyer.
Why is elder home abuse on the rise?
There are a number of reasons why elder home abuse is on the rise. First, the population of older adults is growing rapidly. According to the US Census Bureau, the number of people over 65 is expected to double by 2060. This increase in the older population will likely lead to an increase in the number of cases of elder abuse.
Second, many elders are living alone or in isolated situations. According to AARP, more than 28% of people aged 65 and older live alone. This isolation can make elders more vulnerable to abuse, as they may not have anyone to go to for help if mistreated.
Third, elder abuse is often hidden from view. Many elders are reluctant to report abuse due to shame, fear, or a belief that nothing will be done about it. As a result, abusers can get away with their crimes for a long time before anyone realizes what is happening.
Fourth, some caregivers may be experiencing stress or burnout due to the demands of caregiving. According to the National Alliance for Caregiving, more than 60% of caregivers report feeling stressed by their caregiving responsibilities. This stress can lead to caregivers taking out their frustration on their elderly charges.
Finally, the financial exploitation of elders is on the rise due to the increasing value of retirement savings and other assets such as home equity. With more money at stake, criminals are targeting older adults to steal their savings.
Who are the abusers?
There is no typical abuser. Elder home abuse can be perpetrated by a caregiver, manager, or other residents. The majority of abusers are men, but women can be abusers as well.
Abusers can be of any age and come from any background. They may seem kind and caring at first, but their true nature is revealed over time. Abusers may have a history of violence or mental illness, but not always. Many abusers are friendly people in other aspects of their lives – it’s only when they’re around their elderly victim that they become abusive.
How can we prevent elder home abuse?
There are many ways to prevent elder abuse in the home. Here are some suggestions:
- Keep communication open with your elderly loved ones. Check in on them regularly, and make sure they feel comfortable talking to you about any concerns they may have.
- Pay attention to changes in their behaviour or appearance. Don’t hesitate to ask questions or investigate further if you notice anything unusual.
- Put together a support network for your elderly loved ones, including close friends or family members who can check in on them and help out as needed.
- Encourage your elderly loved ones to stay active and engaged in their community. This can help them stay connected, independent, and less likely to become isolated and vulnerable to abuse.
- Know the signs of elder abuse, and don’t hesitate to seek help if you suspect something is wrong.
Elder abuse is a serious problem with devastating consequences for victims. Various factors contribute to the rise of elder home abuse, and it is critical to be aware of the signs. If you suspect someone you know is being abused, don’t hesitate to reach out for help.
Robert Haynes did his degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. He is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.