Elder Abuse

I hate when an elderly person is abused, especially by his or her own family member(s).  I’ve seen greedy adult children wanting their remaining parent to die so they can inherit the money rather than giving them loving and healthful care.

Recently, a man in his 90s had a brain aneurysm.  Although he lives alone, a family member lives close by and was supposedly his advocate and family caregiver.   All was going well.  This man had been active and did not suffer from dementia.  He was able to care for himself.  Then he experienced severe headaches and even fell trying to get help.  His family member did nothing. The family caregiver even thought that his father possibly had a stroke but let him sit in his house all alone in pain. When I became involved, I begged the son to take his father to the hospital.  He made an excuse that the hospital is not competent and would not make competent decisions for his father.  He finally did call an ambulance to take his father to the hospital. His father ended up blind.

When an elderly patient is abused in a facility, correct actions are easier.  The perpetrator can be found, disciplined and even fired or sentenced to jail.  When the abuser is a close relative abuse is much more difficult to trace, and the family member often gets away with this horrible act. South Carolina has one of the highest ranking of abuse in the United States. The most common types of elder abuse include physical, emotional, psychological, and sexual abuse, as well as financial exploitation.  

Signs of neglect by a family caregiver may include:

  • Dirt, fecal/urine smell, or other health and safety hazards in elder’s living environment
  • Rashes, sores, lice on elder
  • Inadequate clothing and/or unkempt appearance (hair, clothing, personal hygiene)
  • Malnourished or dehydrated
  • Untreated medical conditions
  • Displays signs of trauma, like rocking back and forth

Signs of physical or emotional abuse may include:

  • Cuts, lacerations, puncture wounds
  • Unexplained bruises, welts, and/or skin discoloration
  • Injuries that have not been properly cared for (injuries may be hidden on areas of the body normally covered by clothing)
  • Poor physical hygiene
  • Dehydration and/or malnutrition
  • Weight loss
  • Burns (may be caused by cigarettes or contact with other objects)
  • Withdrawn and hesitant to speak openly to others
  • Appears helpless and fearful
  • Agitated in presence of person inflicting abuse
  • Depression

The list can go on and on including financial exploitation.  If you suspect abuse of any kind you may anonymously call (803) 898-7318.  Anyone can make a report.  Please do your job to protect our elderly.

I hate when an elderly person is abused, especially by his or her own family member(s).  I’ve seen greedy adult children wanting their remaining parent to die so they can inherit the money rather than giving them loving and healthful care.

Recently, a man in his 90s had a brain aneurysm.  Although he lives alone, a family member lives close by and was supposedly his advocate and family caregiver.   All was going well.  This man had been active and did not suffer from dementia.  He was able to care for himself.  Then he experienced severe headaches and even fell trying to get help.  His family member did nothing. The family caregiver even thought that his father possibly had a stroke but let him sit in his house all alone in pain. When I became involved, I begged the son to take his father to the hospital.  He made an excuse that the hospital is not competent and would not make competent decisions for his father.  He finally did call an ambulance to take his father to the hospital. His father ended up blind.

When an elderly patient is abused in a facility, correct actions are easier.  The perpetrator can be found, disciplined and even fired or sentenced to jail.  When the abuser is a close relative abuse is much more difficult to trace, and the family member often gets away with this horrible act. South Carolina has one of the highest ranking of abuse in the United States. The most common types of elder abuse include physical, emotional, psychological, and sexual abuse, as well as financial exploitation.  

Signs of neglect by a family caregiver may include:

  • Dirt, fecal/urine smell, or other health and safety hazards in elder’s living environment
  • Rashes, sores, lice on elder
  • Inadequate clothing and/or unkempt appearance (hair, clothing, personal hygiene)
  • Malnourished or dehydrated
  • Untreated medical conditions
  • Displays signs of trauma, like rocking back and forth

Signs of physical or emotional abuse may include:

  • Cuts, lacerations, puncture wounds
  • Unexplained bruises, welts, and/or skin discoloration
  • Injuries that have not been properly cared for (injuries may be hidden on areas of the body normally covered by clothing)
  • Poor physical hygiene
  • Dehydration and/or malnutrition
  • Weight loss
  • Burns (may be caused by cigarettes or contact with other objects)
  • Withdrawn and hesitant to speak openly to others
  • Appears helpless and fearful
  • Agitated in presence of person inflicting abuse
  • Depression

The list can go on and on including financial exploitation.  If you suspect abuse of any kind you may anonymously call (803) 898-7318.  Anyone can make a report.  Please do your job to protect our elderly.