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Can elder abuse cause early death?

On Behalf of | Mar 15, 2021 | Firm News |

If you have a loved one suffering from elder abuse in a New Jersey nursing home, you are probably doing everything in your power to fix the situation. One side effect you may not have the ability to fix is the long-term impact that the mistreatment caused for your family member.

Even minor cases of elder abuse can set the stage for chronic health problems. If ignored, the trauma of abuse could jeopardize your loved one’s quality of life and well-being.

Recognizing trauma

Long-term effects of abuse can be physical, emotional, financial and psychological. According to the U. S. Department of Health & Human Services, National Institute on Aging, abuse can lead to early death. The sooner you recognize warning signs and intervene to prevent further abuse, the more control you may have over your family member’s long-term wellness.

Signs of abuse can include the following:

  • Behavioral changes
  • Loss of interest in socializing
  • Unexplained illnesses or injuries
  • Loss of appetite
  • Personality changes
  • Expressions of guilt and fear

Seeking help

At the earliest signs of danger, report your concerns. If necessary, remove your family member from the nursing home. You may need to get your loved one both physical and mental health treatments to reverse the effects of abuse. Depending on the severity of the abuse, your family member may need ongoing support. You can also participate in therapy to better understand how to care for and reassure your loved one.

Educate your family member about what abusive behaviors are. Encourage vigilance and assertive communication to lower the risks of abuse. Regularly visit your family member both planned and unannounced so you can have an accurate idea of what happens when you are not around. In situations where your loved one has suffered debilitating trauma; you may consider taking legal action against the perpetrators.