Behaviors That Could Indicate Elder Abuse or Neglect

Elder abuse and neglect, which includes 7 distinguishable categories, tragically occurs all too frequently. About 5 million elders experience abuse each year, though, this number likely doesn’t fully capture the exact number. Unfortunately, many cases go unreported because behaviors indicative of elder abuse can be difficult to spot, particularly if the abuse or neglect does not manifest itself in physical injuries. However, identifying dramatic shifts in behavior could be a possible indicator of elder abuse or neglect, and is the first step to taking action to prevent the mistreatment of the vulnerable.

Being aware of the harder-to-spot signs of elder abuse or neglect can help a loved one intervene and seek justice against the perpetrator to ensure they cannot harm the elder or dependent adult again. The wide range of elder abuse and neglect may make it difficult for the victim, or concerned loved ones, to know how to approach seeking justice. For this reason, having the best elder abuse attorney serving Los Angeles can help individuals make sense of their case and navigate the legal system to receive the compensation they are due. The lawyers specializing in nursing home neglect at Belgum, Fry & Van Allen can advise individuals who believe they or a loved one have been the victim of abuse or neglect on whether or not their case has merit to become a civil lawsuit. The best way to see if you have a case is to utilize Belgum, Fry & Van Allen’s free evaluation form.

Emotional Signs

While emotional abuse may not leave visible scars, its damage to a person can equal the toll of physical abuse. Emotional abuse is any behavior or treatment that induces mental pain, fear, or distress.

The following are behavioral signs that emotional abuse could be taking place:

  • Anxiousness
  • Depression
  • Mood swings
  • Self-isolation
  • Withdrawn / Non-communicative / Non-responsive
  • Easily agitated
  • Body language changes (i.e. rocking, fetal position)

Financial Signs

Another behavioral sign that an elder could be getting neglected or abused in a skilled nursing facility or assisted living home is a sudden lack of knowledge or sense around their financial management.

Common warning signs include:

  • Has an eviction notice for unpaid rent, a notice of late mortgage, or home eviction
  • Missing large sums of money or personal property
  • The senior is unable to access their financial records
  • Strange or unexplainable transactions

If you are a loved one of an elder, this is where keeping regular communication can help bring to light potential abuse or neglect. Making sure your loved one’s finances are in order is both good for their personal financial health and to see if any dramatic behavioral shifts related to their finances could be indicative of something more troubling in their living situation.

Neglect Signs

How neglect differs from abuse is that the perpetrator may not have intended to harm, though both are tried under the same elder abuse law. The main difference is that neglect stems from a failure to provide adequate care, which puts the elder at risk for health, mental, or emotional issues that should not be tolerated.

The lawyers specializing in nursing home neglect at Belgum, Fry & Van Allen advise those considering legal counsel not to wait and take a specific action that can help end the neglectful behavior and strengthen their case if it were to ever go to litigation. The California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform is also a great resource for further information.

Recognizable behavioral signs of neglect can include:

  • Significant weight loss, which can be a result of inadequate food or hydration
  • Lack of basic hygiene
  • Missing medical aids, such as walkers, dentures, eyeglasses, medications, or hearing aids

If a loved one is exhibiting any of these dramatic shifts in behavior, it could be an indicator that they are experiencing abuse or neglect while residing in a nursing home, meaning that these behavioral shifts may not even be their fault. After reviewing the signs of elder abuse and neglect, the situation of a loved one or one’s own situation comes to mind, the lawyers specializing in nursing home neglect at Belgum, Fry & Van Allen urge individuals not to wait to contact a private attorney. Elder abuse and neglect are serious issues. Contacting a lawyer with a background in nursing home elder abuse and neglect cases can help individuals understand what processes and resources are key to ending their mistreatment and receiving proper care.

Fill out a free case evaluation form and one of the lawyers specializing in nursing home neglect at Belgum, Fry & Van Allen will reach out to discuss the viability of a potential case.