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Warning Signs of Elder Abuse and Neglect

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There are numerous signs or symptoms that abuse may be taking place. The following signs do not always indicate an abusive situation, but can be important clues to possible abuse or neglect.

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Physical Abuse

Mental or Emotional Abuse

Following are some warning signs that indicate physical elder abuse might have occurred:

  • Broken bones
  • Dislocated joints, such as shoulders
  • Sprains
  • Discolorations such as bruises, black eyes, welts, pinch marks
  • Swelling
  • Scratches, cuts, lacerations, punctures, or burns
  • Marks or burns from ropes or belts used as restraints
  • Bedsores
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Marks on the breasts
  • Genital infections or venereal disease
  • Vaginal or anal bleeding
  • Torn, stained, or bloody underclothing
  • Untreated injuries
  • Cracked lips
  • Drowsiness, drooling, or vacant stares
  • Broken eyeglass lenses or frames
  • Sudden change in behavior
  • Elder not wanting to be left alone with care giver
  • Care giver not allowing visitor to see elder alone
  • Complaints by the elder or other persons

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Following are some signs, which if exhibited by the elder, might indicate that mental or emotional elder abuse is occurring:

  • Fear, agitation, hesitancy
  • Depression, withdrawal
  • Anger, confusion, disorientation
  • Anxiety, nervousness
  • Unwillingness to communicate
  • Non-responsiveness
  • Unusual behavior, such as rocking, biting or sucking
  • Degrading behavior by the elder toward family or friends
  • The elder's wanting to be isolated from other people
  • Complaints by the elder or other persons

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Read about the CAUSES OF ELDER ABUSE more

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