Physical Elder Abuse Is…
Physical force that results in injury or death, commonly recognized as:
|· Hitting||· Punching|
|· Kicking||· Choking|
|· Pinching||· Slapping|
|· Grabbing||· Twisting|
|· Burning||· Force-feeding|
|· Misuse of medications (over or under-utilization)||· Misuse of chemical or physical restraints|
Signs Of Physical Elder Abuse Are…
- Burns (including cigarette burns; medical equipment burns; water burns)
- Hoarse voice, leaning forward to breathe, respiratory emergencies (signs of strangulation)
- Pressure sores, AKA bedsores
- Choking on food, or pneumonia resulting from food in lungs (signs of force-feeding)
- Misuse of medications (for example: unfilled or expired prescriptions; over-administering, such as sedatives; stealing opiates)
If You Suspect Physical Elder Abuse, Ask…
- Can the injuries be satisfactorily explained? Do the explanations make sense?
- How did the victim fall?
- Did the victim trip or were they pushed?
- If they fell, were any obstructions placed in their pathway?
- Do they normally use an ambulatory device? Was that present when they fell? If not, where was it?
If You Suspect Physical Elder Abuse…
- Use the First Responder Checklist to document AND DESCRIBE any physical injuries, as well as the victim’s overall level of independence and functioning.
- Take photographs of any physical injuries. (See Photo Tips.)
- Take victim’s and witness accounts of how the victim was injured. (See Interviewing Older Adults.)
- Multiple types of elder abuse may be present. Explore and document the possibility of other types of abuse.