Signs and Symptoms of Elder Abuse in California
Elder Abuse Signs and Symptoms in OC CA: In California, it is a crime to be aware of elder abuse and to do nothing about it. In order to help protect the elderly in our community, it is important to be aware of and to recognize the signs and symptoms of elder abuse.
Elder abuse can include any type of neglect, mistreatment, or exploitation of a person who is considered an elder, or someone who is at least 65 years old. It can also include dependent adults who are between 18 and 64 years old.
Abuse can be physical, psychological, verbal, or sexual. Abuse includes things like violence, isolation, abandonment, neglect, abduction, or more. Elder abuse also includes financial abuse and other crimes, like identity theft.
Physical abuse is the intentional use of force on an elderly person, resulting in physical pain, physical injury, or physical impairment.
If you notice signs of physical abuse, it is important to report these to the authorities. Signs of physical abuse can include the following:
• Weight loss that cannot be explained - this can be a sign of malnutrition or dehydration,
• Physical injuries, especially those that do not match their explanations. This includes things like unexplained bruises, fractures, broken bones, scrapes, scratches, etc.,
• Bruises on the inner arm or inner thigh or torn or bloody undergarments can be signs of sexual abuse,
• Bruises or burns with a shape similar to a known object, like a cigarette shaped burn, a belt shaped welt or bruise, or a hand shaped bruise, etc.,
• Injuries in one location at various stages of healing that may indicate repeated injuries,
• Scratches, cuts, marks from pinches, marks or bruises from choking, welts, burns, sprains, punctures, dislocations, fractures, or bedsores,
• A caregiver refusing to allow visitors, even for a short time may indicate that the elder has obvious physical injuries,
• Untreated medical conditions,
• Matted or uncombed hair, dirty clothes or a foul smell indicating poor personal hygiene,
• Any unusual physical signs that may indicate abuse.
The Basics of Emotional or Mental Elder Abuse
If you notice any of the following signs of emotional abuse, it is important to get help for the elder.
• If you witness any belittling talk from a caregiver report it immediately;
• If the elder is displaying behaviors like rocking back and forth or mumbling, it may be a sign of emotional abuse;
• If the elder refuses to speak in front of certain people or refuses to speak if certain people are not present;
• If the elder is inexplicably depressed;
• If the elder seems unusually frightened or secretive;
• If the elder seems especially helpless, angry, confused, withdrawn, or forgetful, etc.
The Basics of Elder Abuse by Neglect, Abandonment or Isolation
This type of abuse includes failing to fulfill caregiver obligations and is the most common type of elder abuse that takes place. It may be intentional or unintentional. If you see any of the following signs of abuse, report it immediately.
• If the elder loses weight quickly, is underfed or dehydrated;
• Bedsores can be a sign that an elder has been ignored;
• If you cannot reach the elder person for any amount of time, it is considered abuse;
• An elder who was left in a public place alone may have been abandoned;
• Unsafe or unlivable conditions, or a home with no heat, faulty electrical wiring, fire hazards, or no running water;
• If the elder has not been bathed or has dirty clothing.
The Basics of Financial Elder Abuse
An elder person who faces financial abuse may not be aware of it, but signs can include the following.
• The elder may be aware of the abuse, and act frightened, secretive, depressed, withdrawn, or helpless,
• Unusual bank account activity, like withdrawing money from an ATM that the elder does not have access to,
• Signatures on checks or legal documents that do not match the elder’s signature,
• Any signatures that were made when the elder was not mentally capable of making decisions,
• Purchasing items that the elder cannot use, or an unusual change in spending,
• Unpaid bills when a person has been designated to pay the elder’s bills,
• Missing items that the elder could use and may need but does not have,
• A caretaker who is unnecessarily supported by the elder,
• Items are missing from the elder’s home, etc.
Elder Abuse Attorneys for Elder Abuse Signs and Symptoms in OC, CA
In Summary, elder abuse signs and symptoms are often more challenging to detect. The reason it is difficult to detect elder abuse is because some of the elderly individuals do not report abuse that has happened to them, or abuse that they have witnessed. Reasons as to why the elderly do not report elder abuse varies. Some believe it is because they do not have the proper information and resources. Without the proper resources or information they do not know who to report the abuse to. In addition, they are not aware of the types of abuse that are prevalent in the elderly community.
Elder abuse can range from physical, emotional, financial, and neglect. Physical abuse is easier to detect in comparison to other forms of elder abuse. If physical abuse has been inflicted upon the elderly individual marks may be present. The marks can range from burns, bruises, scratches, scars, and more. It is more challenging to have signs of emotional abuse. Emotional abuse can be threats or harsh comments that the elderly individuals are subjected to. The best way to observe emotional abuse would be to visit the nursing facility where the elderly individual resides. Moreover, if at anytime the elderly individual appears to be scared of their caretaker, this is a red flag. If their is an elderly individual that you know and love, it is helpful to check in on them frequently. With open lines of communication we are able to offer the elderly community the resources they need to seek aid.
If you would like to take the next steps toward retaining an elder law attorney please schedule an initial consultation today. For additional information regarding elder abuse or elder law please contact your local Elder Law Attorney's. Please call Yanez & Associates at 714-971-8000 for your free initial consultation. We look forward to assisting you with your elder law matter.
Table of Contents
- 1 Signs and Symptoms of Elder Abuse in California
- 2 What is Elder Abuse in California?
- 3 The Basics of Physical Elder Abuse
- 4 The Basics of Emotional or Mental Elder Abuse
- 5 The Basics of Elder Abuse by Neglect, Abandonment or Isolation
- 6 The Basics of Financial Elder Abuse
- 7 Elder Abuse Attorneys for Elder Abuse Signs and Symptoms in OC, CA