September 24, 2012

From the Office of Steve Papadimos: Recognizing Signs of Elder Abuse (Part One)

Posted in Steve Papadimos tagged , at 11:39 pm by Steve Papadimos

As Chief of the Lucas County Prosecutor’s Office, Civil Division, Steven Papadimos carries out the duties involved in administration of a 14-attorney staff. His responsibilities include oversight of the department’s senior protection unit. Today, Papadimos reviews the types and identifying signs of elder abuse.

Although elder abuse takes many forms, most abuse falls under five general categories: physical, sexual, emotional, neglect, or financial, with each type displaying certain characteristics. Because abused elders are often unwilling or unable to report the abuse, it’s important to recognize the indicators.

1. Physical abuse, or the intentional infliction of injury, is the easiest to recognize, due to the appearance of dislocations or fractures, cuts, abrasions, or burns. Bruises on the person’s upper arms may be an indication that the senior was shaken, and marks on the ankles or wrists are a good sign that the person was forcibly restrained.

2. Psychological or emotional abuse consists of actions that cause mental anguish. Indicators of psychological or emotional abuse include decreased self-esteem, depression, extreme or sudden mood changes, confusion, withdrawal, or anxiety. Although this type of abuse is sometimes difficult to identify because seniors often experience depression and other symptoms, a sudden change may be a sign of a problem.