Protecting Your Loved Ones From Elder Abuse in Atlanta
This is one of those topics that you wish you didn’t have to talk about.
Something that shouldn’t be an issue.
However, no matter how much we wished it didn’t exist, it does.
This is something our parents and grandparents shouldn’t have to worry about as they enter the last stage of life.
We can help. We can look for signs of abuse, and we can do everything in our power to prevent it.
Maybe you’re still finding it hard to believe that people abuse the elderly.
It is unbelievable trying to comprehend nursing home abuse and other forms of abuse against the elderly.
However, according to the American Psychological Association, 2 million seniors are the victim of some form of abuse every year.
To make things worse, it’s estimated that for every case of abuse that is reported, there are five more that aren’t.
So that means there are well over 2 million seniors that are victims of abuse every year.
What can we do?
How can we put a stop to all of this?
We’ll discuss that and the different forms of abuse below.
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Paying Attention to the Types and Signs of Elder Abuse
Abuse can take many different forms. The abuse typically falls into one of the following categories: physical, mental, financial or sexual.
Physical abuse is the use of force to cause pain or injury to a person.
It can range from severe beatings to pinching and pushing, and everything in between.
Physical abuse can also be unintentional. Someone might be trying to help the victim, but end up hurting them instead.
The misuse of medications and restraints is also a form of physical abuse.
Mental abuse is typically verbal and can inflict as much damage to the victim as physical abuse.
Name calling and intimidation or common types of mental abuse.
Cursing, yelling, and insults are also abusive and can cause significant damage to the elderly.
Treating the victim as a child or being isolated through threats can also make them feel mentally abused.
Fraud, forgery, forced property transfers, and making purchases with the victims money without there consent are all examples of financial abuse.
Some forms of solicitation can also be financial abuse.
Salespeople and even friends or family can scam the elderly into overpaying for services they need or to pay for services they don’t need at all.
This is the rarest form of abuse but is also likely the least reported form of abuse.
It often happens behind closed doors, making it harder to detect.
Types of Neglect to Look Out For
If you aren’t capable of providing the care your loved one needs on your own, then you need to be sure to find a good caregiver.
The caregiver is left with the responsibility of providing all the basic needs for your loved one.
This can, unfortunately, lead to neglect, whether it’s intentional or unintentional.
Failure to provide food, water, clothing, and shelter are all forms of neglect.
Forgetting to, or purposefully refusing to give medications when they’re needed is neglect.
Some caregivers are also left in charge of the elderly’s finances and paying their bills.
If the bills aren’t paid and the finances are misused or used irresponsibly, this is a form of neglect and financial abuse.
Often the abuse and neglect come from other people. However, self-neglect is still an issue among the elderly.
They might choose not to eat, not to go to the doctor, or take care of their hygiene.
They may also try to overdose or misuse their medications.
While neglect and abuse are much more common from outside forces, it’s still important to keep an eye out for self-neglect.
If you suspect your loved one is practicing self-neglect, please step in right away before it’s too late.
Preventing Elder Abuse
It’s imperative to be sure our loved ones are well taken care of in their golden years.
Since elderly abuse is real, we need to do all we can to eliminate it and keep it from happening.
The following steps are great ways to eliminate and reduce the abuse of the elderly.
Keep them close
If you have to send them to a nursing home or retirement community, do all you can to keep them close to you.
This will ensure you’re able to check on them on a regular basis.
It will also keep them from feeling lonely and isolated.
Stay In Contact
While it’s unlikely you’ll be able to visit every day, you can call every day.
You’ll be able to keep track of their interests and daily activities, and you’ll be able to offer help when they need it.
Building that relationship will make it much more likely for them to reach out to you for help when it’s needed.
You will also be able to spot abnormalities in their daily routine or their tone over the phone, signs that abuse or neglect is an issue.
Encourage Them To Stay Socially Active
Adults typically start to feel more isolated as the years go on. Encouraging them to participate in social events will go a long way to keep them active and engaged.
They’ll also build a community of friends that will be able to spot signs of neglect and abuse.
Having a strong network of friends and activities to attend will also help prevent self-neglect from occurring.
Educate Them About Any Scams
While we can all be targeted by scammers and solicitors, the elderly are much more likely to be taken advantage of.
Make sure they know what to look out for when someone calls them or approaches them offering them services.
If any scams have been reported in your area, make sure they know about them.
Keeping them educated and up to date is important to combat financial abuse.
Put Them In A Safe Environment
This one is pretty obvious. Never leave your loved one with someone that has a history of violent or destructive behavior.
It would be best if you kept the elderly away from abusive people at all costs.
The elderly are already more vulnerable than most, so they make for easy targets.
Again, pretty obvious, but worth repeating.
They don’t need a membership down at the local gym, but they need to stay active.
Even going for a short walk every day will work wonders.
Staying active can prevent depression and make them less vulnerable to abuse.
Use Support Groups
Watching your loved ones decline with age is hard for everyone, especially if it involves putting them in a nursing home.
A quick search online will reveal several options for support groups available to you and your loved ones.
There are also support groups for the elderly that are explicitly designed to fight or prevent elder abuse.
Joining groups like these will make abuse less likely to go unnoticed.
Having a strong social circle makes abuse less likely to occur.
Ready to Talk to a Lawyer Who Has Your Back?
Time To Make A Change
Although elderly abuse is very real, it shouldn’t be, and it doesn’t have to be.
Use the information above to spot and stop any abuse from occurring.
If you or a loved one is suffering from abuse, please don’t hesitate to reach out to the proper authorities.
Taking legal action is another great way to put an end to elder abuse.
Here you can contact our Atlanta Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys.
It shows the world that elder abuse isn’t going unnoticed or unpunished.
If you’re ready to talk to a lawyer in Georgia about elder abuse, the caring lawyers at The Brown Firm are standing by.
Just click the button below to schedule your free consultation.
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