The future of multifamily housing developments are undoubtedly focused on senior citizens. After all, the number of baby boomers turning 65 continues to grow, and more elderly Americans are choosing to live independently. Nevertheless, the number of assisted living centers and nursing homes continues to grow as well. The proliferation of such facilities comes with an unintended difficulty: the lack of qualified staff.
According to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), more than one million Americans over the age of 65 have experienced some type of abuse, neglect or exploitation by their caregivers who usually fit this profile. Many suffer in silence because of fear and embarrassment, so countless elder abuse victims never see justice. Because of this, it is critical for family members and loved ones to recognize the signs of elder abuse so that something can be done sooner rather than later.
Physical abuse – This type of abuse should be the easiest to recognize, but it is surprising how injuries due to improper restraints or corporal punishment are explained away. Because of this, it is prudent to review injury reports (if your loved one is in a nursing home or assisted living center) to see if physical abuse is being concealed.
Emotional abuse – Seeing a loved one who is usually upbeat and charming suddenly being despondent and sad may not just be due to old age. They may be suffering through emotional abuse and may not be able to explain it; either because they fear future reprisals or are embarrassed to talk about it.
Financial abuse – If an elderly loved one complains about not being able to pay bills or cannot afford medication, it may not be attributable to inflation. A caregiver may be siphoning money from your loved one.
If you suspect that your loved one is being abused, an experienced elder law attorney can advise you.