At home or in a Care home hemel Hempstead , one must frequently entrust one’s well-being to strangers. What does one do if he or she suspects that someone close to them is being abused physically, emotionally, or financially – not just by strangers, but probably by people they know and trust?
What constitutes “abuse”?
Abuse is described by the charity Hourglass, formerly known as the Action on Elder Abuse (AEA), as a sole or repetitive act, or lack of proper act happening within any relationship where there is an expectation of confidence that causes damage or distress to the older person.”
Abuse can take six different types, according to the Department of Health:
- Physical abuse includes beating, pushing, rough handling, restraint, and deprivation of basic needs.
- Neglect, ignoring medical needs and denying food, warmth, and medicine.
- Discrimination, racism, sexism, disability-based bullying, insults, and offensive remarks
- Financial fraud, exploitation, diversion of assets, and pressurized financial transactions.
- Sexual – acts of any kind that has not been consented to or could not be consented to.
What are the symptoms that someone is being abused?
If physical abuse has occurred, the signs may be apparent. Still, psychological or discriminatory abuse symptoms may be more difficult to detect, particularly if an older adult is humiliated by the abuse and hides the signs.
The signs are described as follows by the Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE):
- Physical signs and symptoms include unexplained fractures, bruises, oddly formed burns, malnutrition, and bed ulcers.
- Unexplained weight loss, inadequate clothes, and poor physical appearance are all symptoms of neglect.
- The irrational outburst of anger, withdrawal, or low self-esteem.
- Unexplained personality changes ripped or soiled clothes and personal injuries.
- Personal belongings missing, funds missing, or failure to pay for treatment
What should be done if one discovers that someone has been abused?
If you witness the abuse firsthand, know the signs of abuse, a member of staff reports the abuse to you or their boss, or the elderly tell you firsthand, it’s critical to take the appropriate action to ensure the offender is held accountable for the damage they’ve caused. It cannot comfort both of you if your loved one confides in you about their mistreatment. Assure them that you’ll pay attention to what they’ve said and behave in their best interests. On their website, the SCIE has a detailed list of dos and don’ts to help you discuss and manage the situation.
How will an older adult be kept safe?
It’s important to protect the elderly if you suspect them of being abused in some way. In that case, you can report it to the police before pursuing any action by social services against their care home. Certain types of sexual and physical abuse are criminal offenses that the criminal justice system will investigate. In contrast, institutional abuse can result from negligence or bad professional judgment and may be investigated by the Adult Safeguarding Board.
If you decide to pursue a criminal investigation for the abuse, that will cause emotional distress for both them and you, if they are forced to testify against their abuser in court.