Shielding Seniors III
In the previous blog we discussed forms and signs of elder abuse. As we continue this discussion, estimates show as many as 5 million seniors are abused every year. We must start to educate ourselves and others on what elder abuse is, what signs to look for, and what we can do to protect this vulnerable population. Let’s continue to learn about elder abuse according to WedMD.com.
Psychological abuse is any action that hurts a personal on an emotional level. It can happen when someone is yelled at, called names or threatened. Elders could be experiencing someone talking down to them and even controlling them. Watch for signs, for example, that the elder acts withdrawn or frightened. Other signs include seeming confused, losing interest in things they once loved, seeming depressed, or having trouble sleeping.
Financial abuse is when an older person’s money or property are threatened. Someone might be using their credit cards or have access to an elders bank accounts without permission. Someone may be forging their signatures or forcing an unexpected change to a will or power of attorney. Signs to look for include missing financial statements, and documents that have changed or disappeared. The elder may have unpaid bills, utilities that are shut off, or eviction is being threatened. There may be withdrawals from bank accounts that your loved one can’t explain and a new ”friend” has emerged into conversations.
Neglect happens when caregivers don’t tend to an older person’s needs. It can mean they are not given enough food, water, clothing, housing, medications, bathing, or dressing. Abandoning a person is a type of this abuse. You may notice that your loved one seems unclean or messy, they have unkempt hair, skin rashes, or they are losing significant weight suddenly, and they are not hungry anymore. They may have bedsores, or could be missing their hearing aids or eyeglasses.
Next, in the fourth and final part of this blog series we will learn what we can do if we believe we are witnessing signs of elder abuse.
If you have concerns now, at Elder Law of Omaha we focus on the care of anyone 50 or older, so do not hesitate to set up a complimentary 30 minute consult with one of our attorneys at 402.614.6400.