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What action can you take if you suspect elder abuse?

Though you want to believe that your aging loved one is well cared for in his or her nursing home, this is not always the case.

You may suspect that your relative has suffered abuse at the hand of his or her caretakers, but feel uncertain about how to take action to stop it. Here are two tips to help you get started.

Report your suspicions to a government agency

If you have noticed signs of potential abuse on your elderly relative in a care facility, you can report your suspicions to the Division of Services for Aging and Adults with Physical Disabilities. Signs that a senior has experienced abuse include:

  • Significant weight loss
  • Multiple falls or unexplained bruises
  • Mood swings or depression
  • Sudden change in personal hygiene

Remove your relative from the facility

If you fear for your family member’s health or safety, you can remove him or her from the facility in which they currently reside. You can choose to bring your relative to live with you or choose another nursing home you feel will better meet the needs of the individual. If you plan to select another facility for your loved one, remember to verify that the next establishment accepts his or her health insurance or that you can afford the fees.

Elder abuse happens regularly and warrants swift attention. Keep a watchful eye on your elderly relatives so that you can prevent or spot abuse before it can have disastrous consequences for your family.

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