A variety of signs can be linked to elder abuse, including strained relationships, sudden changes in finances or absences from usual activities, bedsores or lack of medical care, and bruising, according to the Administration for Community Living. Although one sign may not indicate elder abuse, several signs may be a strong indicator.
Elder abuse refers to any negligent, knowing or intentional act that causes harm or could cause serious harm, the Administration for Community Living explains. It includes physical, sexual and emotional abuse as well as neglect, exploitation or abandonment. Knowing that an elderly person is neglecting himself also constitutes elder abuse.
Many abused elderly people will suffer in silence, reports the Administration for Community Living. It's important to keep a watchful eye on the situation, especially if the elderly person's personality or behavior changes. Witnessing frequent arguments between a caretaker and an elderly person or situations in which a caretaker humiliates, threatens or intimidates an elderly individual constitutes emotional abuse.
Obvious injuries such as broken bones and bruising can be elder abuse, but so can restraining patients by using medications or physical restraints, advises the Administration for Community Living. If someone simply suspects an elderly person is being abused, that individual should contact local authorities.