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What Signs Can Help Detect Elder Abuse?

 Posted on December 30, 2019 in Personal Injury

What Signs Can Help Detect Elder Abuse?Elder abuse can be classified as the negligent or intentional actions performed by a caregiver or trusted individual that results in pain and suffering for an elderly person. Several forms of elder abuse exist, including but not limited to neglect, physical and sexual abuse, and exploitation. Although elder abuse may be difficult to detect, there are numerous signs that can help determine if a crime is taking place. If you believe that a friend or family member is being victimized by a caretaker, it is important to seek legal help.  

How Can Neglect Be Identified?

Simply put, the neglect of an elderly person happens when adequate care and attention is not given by the attendant. Lack of medical treatment, an improper diet, and unsafe living conditions all qualify as different forms of neglect. Additionally, there are various signs that point to this form of abuse taking place, such as:

  • Lack of basic hygiene
  • Weight loss or trouble sleeping
  • Not being dressed appropriately for the weather conditions       
  • Missing medical aids (walkers, hearing aids, glasses, etc.)
  • Extended periods of time in bed without supervision, resulting in bedsores
  • Lack of living necessities (refrigerator, plumbing, electricity, etc.)

Signs of Physical or Sexual Abuse

In many cases, elderly people that are being physically or sexually abused can show changes in their appearance, mood, or overall body language and condition. Depending on the form of abuse and what body parts are being affected, different markings could help detect physical or sexual misconduct. Coinciding with any unexplained injuries, the discovery of a sexually transmitted disease (STD), an inappropriate relationship with a caregiver, torn clothing, or any aggressive actions could also be a warning that these types of abuse are transpiring.  

Determining Exploitation

Leaving an elderly person in the care of another individual can put them at risk of financial crime. If you are starting to suspect that a form of monetary abuse is taking place, certain indicators can provide a warning. Exploitation may be occurring if:

  • Unpaid bills and lack of essential household items are prevalent
  • Forged signatures are suspected
  • There are missing bank statements    
  • Extensive financial payments are being given to the caretaker
  • The caregiver has control over the elderly person’s bank accounts and finances 
  • There is a clear disconnect between the elderly person and his or her budget or affairs

Contact a Glen Ellyn Elder Abuse Attorney

Although there are several forms of elder abuse that can take place, the consequences of each type can be devastating. Being aware of the signs and the possible outcomes can help you determine whether or not a crime is taking place. If you suspect that a loved one is suffering from abuse, it is imperative to take action as soon as possible. At Schwartz Injury Law, our experienced Cook County personal injury lawyers are determined to help victims of elder abuse receive the compensation they are entitled to. For a free consultation, call our office today at 708-669-0513.


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