Elder abuse is a very serious issue that can occur inside and outside of families. Abuse and neglect can be afforded by family caregivers, or it may take place within a nursing home or assisted living facility. Despite where it takes place, it is important for loved ones to be able to identify the signs of elder abuse so they can take the proper steps to stop it from happening.

According to WebMD, elder abuse can have a psychological component. The abuse victim may appear withdrawn or isolated, or he may become depressed or anxious suddenly. Insomnia and other issues may also occur, or the person may exhibit odd behavioral changes that cannot easily be explained. These same effects can also occur when a person’s material needs are being neglected.

Many elderly people have problems with mobility or experience cognitive issues that make self-care difficult. This is where caregivers are crucial, especially when it comes to things like meals or grooming and bathing. A lack of care will result in an unkempt appearance, nutritional problems like rapid weight loss, and even rashes or other skin issues. If the person is bedbound, you may notice the presence of bed sores. This can be a very serious complication, especially for those with compromised immune systems.

Some abusers even pursue a senior’s finances. They might make unauthorized charges or use your loved one’s diminished mental state to take advantage. A senior may all of the sudden experience financial difficulty, including problems paying recurring bills. Legal documents, like wills and powers of attorney, can also be changed suddenly. The perpetrator might even go so far as to forge your loved one’s signature in order to gain access to funds.