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Elder Abuse - Indicators

Physical Indicators:
Bruises, Welts, Swelling or Swollen Areas Pale Appearance
Unattended Bedsores Sunken Eyes and Hollow Cheeks
Pain or Tenderness on Touching Soiled clothing or bed
Cuts, Lacerations, Burns or Puncture Wounds Inappropriate administration of medication
Lack of bandages on injuries Unkept appearance
Dehydration/Malnourishment Signs of confinement

Behavioral Indicators of the Victim/Elder:

Implausible stories
Confusion or Disorientation
Hesitation to talk openly

Indicators from the Family/Caregiver:

The Elder is not given the opportunity to speak for him/herself or
to see others without the presence of the caregiver/(abuser);

Absence of assistance, indifference or anger toward the elder;

The family member or caregiver "blames" the elder;

Acts of aggression (threats, insults, harassment);

Previous history of abuse to others,

Problems with drugs or alcohol;

Social isolation of the family or isolation or restriction of
activity of the elder within the family unit;

Reluctance to cooperate with service providers.

Indicators of Possible Financial Abuse:

Inappropriate bank activity; unusual interest in the amount of
money being spent for the care of the elder;

Refusal to spend funds for the care of the elder;

Numerous unpaid bills, overdue rent; checks and other documents
signed when the elder cannot write;

Missing jewelry, clothing, or other items;

Recent will when the elder is clearly incapable of making a will;

Recent changes in the title of property;

Power of attorney given when the elder is unable to comprehend the
financial situation;

Lack of person grooming items, appropriate clothing etc. when
the elder's income appears adequate to cover such needs.

Elder Abuse - Profiles

Victim Profile:
The majority of victims of elder abuse are women, age 75 or over, widowed, dependent on the abuser for basic needs, and suffering from a mental or physical illness.

Abuser Profile:
The abuser is most often a relative of the victim and frequently lives in the same household acting as a caregiver. Likely abusers may suffer from: stress from financial problems, the stress of caring for an older person, alcohol and drug problems, emotional problems, and dependency upon the elder for basic needs. Abusers may also be professional persons such as attorneys, doctors, accountants, and live-in caregivers.

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