In the US, and subsequently, in Michigan, elder abuse is a problem. How do you know if abuse is affecting your loved one? The signs may be more subtle than you think.

According to the National Institute on Aging, most elder abuse victims are women. Many of these patients are those who have dementia, disabilities or other memory problems. While vulnerable people are more likely to suffer abuse, it can happen to any older person. To protect your loved ones, you have to be able to pinpoint the signs.

When you look for signs of elder abuse, look for sudden changes in behavior. Does your loved one appear more confused than normal? Is he or she uncharacteristically violent and unable to take part in the activities that he or she received enjoyment from performing? When a person suffers from abuse, he or she can become violent and agitated or may draw into him or herself.

Physical signs of abuse include a messy appearance. When your loved one moves into a nursing home, you expect a very specific standard of care. Your loved one should have clean clothes and access to a shower or bath. By no means should the patients appear unwashed and messy. In addition, you may see unexplained bruises or scars.

Keep in mind that negligence is also abuse. If you see your loved one with bedsores or any other preventable condition, then you may have ample reason to think elder abuse. When you catch abuse, it is crucial to speak with your loved one and to report it.

This article was provided to explain what elder abuse is. It is not for legal advice.