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How To Determine Self-Inflicted Elder Abuse?

How To Determine Self-Inflicted Elder Abuse?


The self-infliction of elder abuse is a common and unfortunate reality for many seniors living across the United States of America. In fact, it is one of the most commonly reported types of cases concerning elder abuse reported to authorities. There are a variety of ways in which a case of self-inflicted elder abuse can begin and likewise many different types of self-inflicted elder abuse. 

The most important detail in cases such as these, however, is that the victim receives the help that they need despite the challenges that may present themselves. Reach out to experienced San Diego elder abuse attorney Joel Bryant today to learn more about your options in cases of elder abuse.

What it Is and How it Happens

Self-inflicted elder abuse covers a wide range of occurrences in which an elder neglects their own well-being or livelihood. There is a slew of different situations in which an elder could be considered carrying out a case of self-neglect, including refusal to attend medical and doctors appointments, consuming copious or unhealthy amounts of drugs such as alcohol or prescribed medications, and the neglect of one’s living space leading to unsanitary conditions.

There are likewise a number of ways in which self-inflicted elder abuse can occur. Boredom and lack of motivation are commonly cited reasons for this condition to take over. Psychological, mental, and emotional states are incredibly critical to the development of self-inflicted elder abuse. Other examples of drivers include substance abuse, the onset of illnesses such as Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, and the physical deterioration of one’s body.

Signs to Look Out for When Assessing Self-Inflicted Elder Abuse

There are some signs that you, loved ones, neighbors, and community members can look out for when attempting to determine if an elder is neglecting their well-being. These warning signals are important for all to know as they can potentially save the life of someone close to them.

  • Cluttering or hoarding of items in a home
  • Self-isolation and refusal to see loved ones
  • Poor hygiene practices, especially those concerning defecation, urination, and the tending of wounds
  • Abuse of any kind of substances
  • Refusal to take prescribed medication required for one’s health
  • Refusal to appear for doctor and other medical appointments 
  • Absence of required nutrients in one’s diet
  • Mood swings or changes in character and personality, such as lashing out or defiance against a family member

Taking the First Step Toward Recovery

It should be noted that, oftentimes, those close to a perpetrator of self-inflicted elder abuse have extreme difficulty getting through to the elder and making substantive changes in their lives. It may often take months or even years to reach a state of normalcy with a victim of self-inflicted elder abuse. Resources such as adult protective service hotlines, doctors and other healthcare workers, social workers, and other resources are great points of contact if you are in need of help regarding a case of self-inflicted elder abuse. 

If you are concerned about the case of elder abuse in your family or community, please reach out to experienced California elder abuse attorneys such as Joel Bryant today for more information.