More than two out of every five Americans will need long term care at some point during their lifetime. Long term care typically encompasses assistance with daily living activities such as: bathing, feeding, dressing and eating. When people require long term care, they are in their most vulnerable state of their lifetime. This precise reason highlights why long-term care patients can succumb to extensive elder abuse.
Elder abuse exists in a variety of formats such as financial abuse, physical abuse, neglect, and emotional abuse. All of these shameful acts exist far too commonly within long term care facilities. Studies show that one out of ten seniors experience some form of elder abuse. In order to be on the lookout for physical elder abuse, the California Department of Justice has issued several warning signs that could indicate physical elder abuse. You and your loved ones should keep a close watch for any of the following possible identifying signs of physical elder abuse.
· Call light is not functioning or is removed from residents reach
· Development or worsening of pressure sores
· Excessive weight loss
· Unusual or recurring scratches, bruises, skin tears or welts
· Bilateral bruising (bruises on opposite sides of the body)
· “Wrap around” bruises (bruises that typically encircle the arm)
· Torn, stained, or bloody underclothing
· Signs of excessive drugging
· Foul smelling, uncombed, or matted hair
· Patches of hair missing or bleeding scalp
· Injuries that are incompatible with explanations
· Injuries caused by biting, cutting, pinching, or twisting of limbs
· Burns caused by scalding water, cigarettes, or ropes
If any of these warning signs are present on your loved one, it needs to be investigated further. Far too often victims of elder abuse will not speak up and report the abuse out of fear from further abuse. Additionally, victims may suffer from cognitive illnesses such as Alzheimer’s or dementia, and lack the communication skills to properly report their suffering.
At the Cartwright Law Firm, we aggressively advocate for those who have sadly fallen victim to elder abuse. Our elders have gained vast wisdom and experience throughout their lifetimes, and ought to be treated with dignity and respect. The elderly should never become targets for abuse.