How can you tell if an elderly friend or relative is being abused, cheated or neglected by care-givers?
Rudolfo Ramirez, operations support director at the El Paso office of the Texas adult protective services, has put together a list of things to watch out for. He says, "The presence of some of these conditions may not necessarily indicate abuse. However, a cluster of these conditions, the seriousness of any condition or the recurrence of one or more raises the probability."Some signs of trouble:
- Bruises on the face, buttocks or thighs or presence of old and new bruises at the same time.
- Fractures of the skull or nose.
- Cigarette burns on the palms, legs, arms or soles of feet.
- Conflicting or illogical explanations of the injuries.
- Poor grooming: soiled clothing, extreme body odor.
- Sudden weight loss.
- Discoloration of skin (a color too white or gray may indicate malnutrition; dark color might mean dehydration; yellowish color may indicate jaundice).
Also, take note if an older person seems afraid of his or her caretaker.
If you suspect that a friend or a relative is being abused, phone the adult protective services department, listed in the phone book in most states under county or state government.
- Joe Volz
(Maturity News Service)