Physical abuse is damaging when it happens to anyone, but it is particularly harmful when it is endured by older adults. Continue reading to learn more about physical elder abuse.
Physical Abuse Defined
According to the Administration for Community Living (ACL), physical abuse is defined as, “inflicting physical pain or injury on a senior, e.g. slapping, bruising, or restraining by physical or chemical means.”
Essentially, physical elder abuse is harming the body of an older adult in any fashion, but it can also include neglect.
Physical Abuse Endured
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 2.6% of elders in community settings report sustaining a form of physical abuse. Additionally, 14.1% of elders in institutional settings endure physical abuse, according to the elders and their proxies. Similarly, staffers of institutional environments report that 9.3% of elders in these settings endure physical abuse.
Identifying Physical Abuse
Just one sign of harm doesn’t necessarily signify abuse, but the presence of several signs may identify an underlying problem. The following are some telltale signs that your loved one could be suffering from physical abuse or neglect:
- Pressure marks
- Broken bones
- Untreated medical needs
- Lack of good hygiene
- Peculiar weight loss
- Uneasy or edgy relationships
- Repeated arguments among the caregiver and the elder
The most important factor to keep in mind is that you must be alert in order to identify these warning signs. Oftentimes, elders suffer in silence.
If you begin to notice changes in your loved one’s behavior, ask them questions about what’s happening. Don’t forget, you aren’t responsible for verifying that the abuse is ensuing, you just need to make sure to report your concerns to the appropriate people—the nurse supervisor or the administrator. If you have already done that and your concerns have not been addressed, or you have serious concerns about the safety of your loved one, contact Adult Protective Services.
We’re Here to Help
If you think your elderly loved one is sustaining abuse, we are here to help. Our team has assisted hundreds of other people in similar situations obtain justice, and we may be able to help you, too. Don’t hesitate to contact our office with your questions right away.