When I first began writing articles for my website, my initial thought was to stick with issues that kept Seniors from being independent. Since then my eyes have been opened to a wide range of issues and elder abuse seems to be at the forefront.
Don’t ask me how or why I chose this topic, I just did. Normally I cringe at bringing up taboo topics; they make me a little squeamish. I imagine abuse is that way for you too. It’s not something we want to think about or even admit could happen to someone we know, especially a Senior. Last week I picked six areas of abuse and now will talk , in order, about each of those areas.
Today, I’ll be addressing physical abuse of Seniors. My research showed many forms of physical abuse, but I will be listing six signs that seem to be at the top of the list. Again, let me say that I am not an expert in this field, nor should I be thought of as having final say on what is or isn’t abuse. I only wish (here) to point out a problem and signs that abuse of an older senior adult may be taking place.
- Broken bones, sprains, or dislocations;
- Unexplained bruises, welts, or scars, especially if they appear symmetrically on two sides of the body;
- Report of drug overdose or apparent failure to take regularly prescribed medication;
- Broken eyeglasses or frames;
- Signs of being restrained, such as rope marks on wrists;
- Caregiver’s refusal to allow you to see the elder alone
Clearly this is not an exhaustive list. Add to it as you see fit. If nothing else you will, hopefully, be more aware of and on the lookout for signs of abuse in a friend, family member or neighbor.
Now the question becomes what to do if you do suspect an elder is being abused. I don’t know about other cities, but in Dallas – Ft. Worth you can call 311 and report the suspected abuse. You can also contact the Eldercare Locator at 1-800-677-1116. They will direct you to the appropriate local office for reporting any suspected abuse.
It is my prayer that you never have to report a case of abuse, but if you do don’t hesitate. Older adults, like children, are dependent and vulnerable. We owe it to them to not turn our heads when abuse may be taking place.