Abuse of elders can take many forms.
Elder abuse is any mistreatment of an elder that causes physical, psychological, financial, or emotional harm. Neglect is also a common form of elder abuse.
Neglect can come in many shapes, but common forms of neglect are malnutrition and dehydration.
The body is made up of water. Therefore, water intake is essential to survival as well as consuming the right amount of nutrients through food. Caretakers for elders are often responsible for feeding and providing water to an elder. Feeding an elder can take time and indeed requires patience and compassion. Elders can have unique nutrition needs as a result of medications, depression, loss of appetite, taste, or smell. This may make it more difficult to ensure an elder has proper nutrition. Some signs of malnutrition include loss of weight, longer healing time for wounds and sickness, irritability, loss of energy, hollow appearance, hair loss, reduced sex drive, and difficulty breathing.
According to the Mayo Clinic, elders are more vulnerable to dehydration which can be caused by lack of attention, illness, or side effects from medications. Signs of dehydration in elders is dark urine, confusion, dizziness, less frequent urination, or extreme thirst. Malnutrition and dehydration can lead to more significant health issues for an elder, even to the point of death.Abuse can take place in a nursing home setting or even private homes by loved ones. We have to hold ourselves accountable and speak up when we see abuse occurring. It is important that we advocate for elders because they may be unable or unwilling to do it for themselves.
If you feel that someone you know or you have experienced elder abuse in the form of malnutrition, please act right away to address the issue. Also please call us. We can help you right some of the wrongs that have been done to the elder in your life. All of our consultations are free of charge and obligation.