Abuse of vulnerable seniors is unthinkable to most people. However, these issues do happen quite frequently, and it’s up to caring loved ones to step in and advocate for people unable to stand up for themselves. This guide can help you be a better advocate and ensure your family member remains protected when faced with abuse.
How to Identify Elder Abuse
Because there are so many different forms of elder abuse, signs and symptoms can vary drastically. In general, seniors being abused or neglected will exhibit the following signs:
- Unexplained injuries, including bruises, burns, and lacerations
- Onset of depression or anxiety disorders
- A dirty, unkempt appearance
- Decreased financial stability
- Preventable medical conditions, such as bed sores
- Isolation from friends and family
- Lacking important medication or receiving too much medication
It should be noted that many of these symptoms can also indicate other issues or medical disorders. This highlights the importance of getting to the bottom of the problem as soon as possible.
What You Can Do to Protect Your Loved One
If you notice the above signs, take your loved one to a secure, private place and ask how they’re feeling. If they admit elder abuse or you detect evidence of it, take steps to ensure the safety of the person being abused. If they are living in a nursing home or assisted living facility, report the issue to the administrator immediately. If possible, remove your loved one from the home until the matter can be investigated.
If your loved one is living with a family or professional caregiver, report your concerns to the proper government agency. In New Mexico, families can report issues to Adult Protective Services, who will then investigate immediately. No matter what type of action you take, it’s important to act quickly to prevent more abuse from occurring.
Once your loved one is safe and secure, you might consider seeking compensation for their injuries. In this case, Martinez, Hart, Sanchez & Romero, P.C.will use our decades of experience to assist you. Our elder abuse attorneys have a real passion for protecting clients, no matter the nature of the abuse. We can guide you through cases step-by-step and provide peace of mind during a stressful time.