Elder Abuse: It’s Not Always Easy to Speak Up


The number of elders in a care facility are high. It’s estimated that there are approximately 3.2 million Americans in care facilities. Of those care facilities, many have been marked with violations or substandard care for the residents who live there. There are approximately 2.1 million Americans who are the victims of elder abuse, and those are the instances that are reported. Many other instances go unnoticed or unreported. What are some reasons for elder abuse, and how can you detect that your senior has been a victim?

Reasons for elder abuse are many and often lead to the fact that so many homes are understaffed. If they are not understaffed, they have inadequate caregivers. As one of the most highly populated areas of employment and certification, becoming a caregiver takes a short amount of time and can put someone on the professional career path quickly. This profession is enticing for gradates and mid-lifers who need a change in career and a flexible schedule. Nursing homes admit often to being underfunded and understaffed, with inability to retain qualified personnel. They are often unable to ensure proper training for all employees. When all of these factors are remiss, it is no wonder that elder abuse occurs. How can you spot the signs?

Elder abuse is hard to target. A senior might not say what is bothering them for fear that of being labeled incompetent, or accused of complaining. Often they are simply embarrassed that life has brought them to this point, or are ashamed that they have to rely partially or fully on others to care for them. They don’t want to be a “bother” or make waves, so they are not quick to report anything. And, if suffering from dementia, find it difficult to communicate. This makes it even more challenging for relatives to gauge whether their cries for help are serious, or part of the disease. Any cry for help, regardless of how small or exaggerated, should be investigated. Here are some signs you might find:

  • Unexplainable bruises or blood on the elder
  • Unkempt conditions in the nursing home or care facility
  • Inconsistencies in the elder’s activity chart that shows lack of care when it comes to eating habits or using the restroom.
  • Unkempt or wet clothing
  • Hearing the attendants complain about their work, or showing signs of disrespect toward management. Sometimes a worker will take disrespect for management out on the patients.

If you suspect that your elder has been a victim of abuse in a New York nursing home or care facility, you should talk to a law firm who is renowned for handling cases of abuse. We never want our elders and family seniors to suffer due to improper care. Ensuring that you know the signs of abuse could prevent a severe situation from occurring.

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Finz & Finz, P.C. is a New York and Long Island personal injury law firm based out of Mineola, NY. It was founded in 1984 and is highly rated, with many honors and awards of excellence.