I am delighted to share with you another contribution from Chris Moon-Willems who very kindly contributes articles to Caron Cares. This is the second in her series about neglect and abuse of the elderly.
Keeping Older People safe – Part 2
We all have the right to feel and be safe, regardless of our age or circumstances. Unfortunately incidents of abuse towards older people are increasingly being reported and many go unreported.
Elder Abuse has been defined as ‘A single or repeated act or lack of appropriate action, occurring within any relationship where there is an expectation of trust, which causes harm or distress to another person’
Here is the second in a series of blog posts that focus on the different types of abuse, this time looking at physical abuse.
Physical abuse is where someone intentionally inflicts injury, pain or bodily harm on another person. It can also result in psychological problems and feelings of fear.
Examples of behaviour include: hitting, pushing, slapping, scalding, shaking, pushing, kicking, pinching, hair pulling, the inappropriate application of techniques or treatments, involuntary isolation or confinement and misuse of medication. Inadvertent physical abuse may also arise from poor practice such as poor manual handling techniques.
Possible signs of physical abuse are:
• Bite marks
• Puncture wounds
• Finger marks
• Burns and scalds
• Weal marks
• Fractures and sprains
• Any injury that has not been properly cared for such as undressed pressure sores
• Poor skin condition
• Bruises (especially if there is a lot of bruising of different ages and discolouration
• Loss of weight, loss of hair and change of appetite
• Unexplained behaviour
• Changes in sleep pattern
• Unexplained paranoia
If you suspect is a victim of elder abuse call the police or contact the local Social Services department.
Chris is a published author and leading expert in the field of elderly care who has appeared on TV and been interviewed on national and local radio. Chris gained her expertise from specialising in care for older people during her training as a social worker and over 30 years of working in operational and senior management for the NHS and Social services.