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How to Talk to Seniors About Elder Abuse

Nursing home abuse is far more prevalent than many people want to believe. According to a 2014 study conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services, approximately 33 percent of nursing home residents suffered from some type of adverse, harmful effects. Out of that number, 59 percent of injuries were preventable. 

You may pick up on the signs of nursing home abuse in your loved one. You may see your elderly loved one has bedsores, broken bones or injuries from a fall. These may have been genuine accidents, but to gain a better sense of whether you need to acquire legal representation, you should talk to your loved one first. 

Bring it up in a personal setting

You do not want to ask personal questions related to abuse when a caretaker is present. In many cases, abusers will try to isolate the victim, and your loved one may not want to speak up when a potential abuser is present. Therefore, start the conversation in a private setting where the senior citizen can speak freely. 

Address concerns in a non-judgmental tone

Many victims will still not want to talk about abuse because they do not want people to think of them as victims. As you try to gain information, bring up how you have noticed signs of abuse. Mention a bruise or bedsore, and ask how he or she developed it. If an elderly individual still seems weary to talk about abuse, then make it clear that you are there for support and will take the loved one out of the facility immediately if abuse has happened. 

Follow up on promises

In the event that your loved one mentions suffering from abuse, then make good on your promise. Take the loved one out of the facility to receive professional medical attention for the injuries. Part of treatment can also include counseling sessions. You also want to notify local law enforcement because there is a good likelihood other residents have suffered similar abuse or negligence.

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