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Signs of Elder Abuse

| Jun 15, 2011

Elder abuse can affect even the most famous and loved geriatric, as we've learned from the case involving the legendary American film actor and entertainer Mickey Rooney.

Rooney, 90, told a Senate committee in Washington on March 2, he was "abused by a family member who took control of his life, and described feeling 'scared, disappointed, yes, and angry.' That family member is reportedly his stepson, the child of his 8th and current wife.

Rooney is accusing his stepson of withholding food and medicine and meddling in his personal finances, according to news reports.

"For years I suffered silently. I didn't want to tell anybody. I couldn't muster the courage, and you have to have courage," Rooney said to news reports. "I needed help and I knew I needed it. Even when I tried to speak up, I was told to shut up and be quiet."

This tragic case of elderly abuse reminds us that it is more common than we may think.

As a North Charleston personal injury lawyer , I urge family members and friends to look out for elder abuse. If you suspect your loved one is being abused, there are signs of elder abuse to look out for, according to news reports .

"While one sign does not necessarily indicate abuse, some tell-tale signs that there could be a problem are:

  • Bruises, pressure marks, broken bones, abrasions, and burns may be an indication of physical abuse, neglect, or mistreatment.
  • Unexplained withdrawal from normal activities, a sudden change in alertness, and unusual depression may be indicators of emotional abuse.
  • Bruises around the breasts or genital area can occur from sexual abuse.
  • Sudden changes in financial situations may be the result of exploitation.
  • Bedsores, unattended medical needs, poor hygiene, and unusual weight loss are indicators of possible neglect.
  • Behavior such as belittling, threats, and other uses of power and control by spouses are indicators of verbal or emotional abuse.
  • Strained or tense relationships, frequent arguments between the caregiver and elderly person are also signs."

If you or a loved one has been a victim of elderly abuse call 911 and the Department of Social and Health Services. You should also contact an elder abuse lawyer in North Charleston immediately.

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