Abuse can take many forms. It is often difficult to see the signs because abuse often happens with the most vulnerable people in society, such the elderly. Recognizing signs of abuse in someone who may not be able to tell you what is going on or who may exhibit signs that you may think are due to something else is not easy. That is why so much abuse goes unpunished. However, becoming aware of things that signal abuse in an elderly person can make it easier for you to spot it should it happen to someone you love in Alabama.

According to the National Institute on Aging, some signs of abuse in the elderly may seem like signs of a health condition. It is very easy to confuse symptoms of dementia with signs of abuse. For example, confusion, depression, acting withdrawn and becoming agitated are all signs of abuse, but these signs are also common with people who have dementia or other health conditions that occur as we age.

Since not all abuse is physical, you should watch for signals other than bodily injuries. This includes unexplained weight loss, loss of interest in activities, trouble sleeping and lack of self-care.

Because signs are not always crystal clear, if you notice any of them, you should get the elderly person to the doctor. If the doctor does not find anything medically wrong that would produce the symptoms you see, then it is likely that he or she is experiencing abuse of some type. This information is for education and is not legal advice.