Elder Physical Abuse
Each year in the United States, an estimated 2.1 million seniors are the victims of some form of abuse. Many elderly do not report the abuse or neglect. Unfortunately, abused elders die earlier than those who are well cared for. According to the Assisted Living Federation of America (ALFA), the maltreatment and abuse of the elderly is a significant problem among the elderly population in America. It is more common in women over age 80. Those who are abused are at a 300 perfect increase of dying within three years. Unfortunately, only 1 out of every 6 elderly persons report the event.
About Elder Physical Abuse
Unfortunately, physical abuse of an elder is more common than most people would think as well. Physical abuse is any force that causes personal injury or pain. This includes striking, hitting, beating, shoving, among other actions. Physical abuse also can mean tying down an elder with unnecessary or brutal restraints that limit movement. This can lead to muscle atrophy and further degeneration of the muscles.
Physical abuse against the elderly may be perpetrated by an acquaintance, doctor, nurse, caregiver, family member or another individual in the life of an elderly person. According to the US National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (NCPEA), most perpetrators of elder physical abuse are unemployed, single and live with the elder in his or her own home.
Some of the more common signs of physical abuse of the elderly are:
- Unexplained bruises and cuts
- Torn or bloody clothing
- Black eyes
- Broken bones
Physical Abuse Indicators in the Elderly
Sometimes it is difficult to distinguish between abuse and self-neglect. However, the elderly person does self-neglect through his or her own actions. Yet, abuse is the purposeful maltreatment with intentional infliction of physical harm.
Be mindful of burns, abrasions, bruises, tooth loss, hair loss along with broken bones, sprains or dislocated joints.
The main physical signs that the elderly person is being abused include the following:
- A past history of hospitalizations, often for injuries that are the same or similar to other injuries
- A delay in receiving medical care for an injury the elder receives
- Trips to various emergency rooms to avoid detection of abuse
- Unreasonable explanations as to how the elder received an injury
- Strained relationships between caregiver and elder
- Elder withdrawal from usual activities or social activities the elder usually enjoys
If you suspect your loved one is being abused or neglected, do not accept denials. Instead, contact a knowledgeable lawyer experienced with representing victims. We have been assisting the injured for 20 years. We help clients from all over the country. Our consultations are completely free. Call today.