What is elder abuse?
- Elder abuse occurs when someone willfully causes injury, intimidation, or punishment that results in physical harm, pain or mental anguish.
Who is at risk for elder abuse?
- Anyone in a long-term care facility such as a nursing home can be a victim of abuse, but those age 80 or older, especially women, are at greater risk.
Are there different types of elder abuse?
- Yes. They include verbal abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, and misappropriation of the resident's property.
Who is likely to be an abuser?
- The abuser is typically a family member, spouse or caregiver.
- In settings such as nursing homes or group homes, professional caregivers may be the abuser.
What signs should we look for if we suspect that loved ones are a victim of elder abuse in a nursing or personal care home?
- Look for physical injury such as questionable bruises, cuts, burns or rope marks, broken bones or sprains.
- Look for neglect: substandard physical care such as dehydration, malnourishment, weight loss, pressure sores and unmet medical needs.
Is elder abuse limited to physical abuse?
- No. It can include mental abuse. Look for unusual behavior or changes in emotional state. Victims may be agitated, withdrawn, or exhibit fear or anxiety.
What is property abuse?
- Belongings that have been deliberately misplaced or wrongfully used by a caregiver.
- This can be missing money, credit card misuse, or use of personal phones or other personal items without the resident's consent.
What should one do if they suspect a loved one is a victim of elder abuse?
- If the abuse is taking place in a long-term care facility, the Mississippi Department of Health has a toll-free number to report suspected abuse: 1-800-227-7308.
What happens when the alleged abuse is reported?
- The Mississippi Department of Health will thoroughly investigate any and all reports of abuse in any long-term care facility in Mississippi.