How can I tell if my loved one is being abused?

On Behalf of | Dec 2, 2019 | Firm News |

If your loved one resides in a North Carolina nursing home, you may notice some changes to their behavior over time. Maybe they have become more withdrawn or quiet. Bruises may have also appeared on their skin that you cannot account for. Are they being abused by staff members or other residents? Or, are these just signs of getting old and maybe even dementia? 

According to WebMD, there are several types of abuse that your loved one may face. Here are the main ones that they identify and common signs of each. 

Financial abuse 

If you maintain access to your loved one’s accounts, then you may begin to notice some strange activity. This may include withdrawals they cannot explain, signatures that look forged, missing financial statements or a new friend that is always asking for money. While not addressed by WebMD, consider that identity theft may also share some of these signs. 

Physical abuse 

Your loved one may become less agile and more prone to accidents as they get older. Still, unexplained burns, sprains, broken bones and repeated injuries should all ring alarm bells. If they refuse to see a doctor about their wounds or injuries, then this is further cause for concern. 

Sexual abuse 

This is not always physical, which can make it difficult to identify. For example, a person may be forced to watch explicit material against their will with a staff member. When it is physical, some signs may include contracting STIs, bruises on clothed areas of the body and torn or bloody clothes. 

Psychological abuse 

Sometimes called emotional abuse, behaviors are usually the giveaways. The person may become frightened or withdrawn, particularly around specific members of staff. They may begin to mumble to themselves and experience trouble sleeping. When sexual abuse is psychological, you may notice these symptoms as well. 

Even if your loved one suffers from a mental illness, they may be able to communicate with you about the possible incidents. Try to speak to them in private. You may also consider reaching out to Adult Protective Services for assistance. 

This article shares information from WebMD on elder abuse. It should not be used in place of medical and legal advice.