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Physical Abuse of the Elderly
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW:
Physical abuse occurs when a carer harms you or places you in danger. A carer may be a family member or someone who is responsible for taking caring for you. The carer may hit, slap, kick, push, pull your hair, burn, or force feed you. He may also give you the wrong amount of medicine. Physical abuse also includes sexual abuse. Sexual abuse is when someone has sexual contact with you without your consent. Physical abuse can happen in your own home, the carer's home, or a facility, such as a nursing home.
- Pain medicine: You may need medicine to take away or decrease pain.
- Learn how to take your medicine. Ask what medicine and how much you should take. Be sure you know how, when, and how often to take it.
- Do not wait until the pain is severe before you take your medicine. Tell your healthcare provider if your pain does not decrease.
- Pain medicine can make you dizzy or sleepy. Prevent falls by calling someone when you get out of bed or if you need help.
- Take your medicine as directed. Contact your healthcare provider if you think your medicine is not helping or if you have side effects. Tell him or her if you are allergic to any medicine. Keep a list of the medicines, vitamins, and herbs you take. Include the amounts, and when and why you take them. Bring the list or the pill bottles to follow-up visits. Carry your medicine list with you in case of an emergency.
Follow up with your healthcare provider as directed:
Write down your questions so you remember to ask them during your visits.
Ice and heat:
- Ice helps decrease swelling and pain. Ice may also help prevent tissue damage. Use an ice pack, or put crushed ice in a plastic bag. Cover it with a towel and place it on your injury for 15 to 20 minutes every hour or as directed.
- After the first 24 to 48 hours, your healthcare provider may have you use heat. Heat helps decrease pain and muscle spasms. Apply heat on the area for 20 to 30 minutes every 2 hours for as many days as directed.
Injury or wound care:
Ask your healthcare provider for information about how to take care of injuries or wounds.
Rest when you feel it is needed. Tell your healthcare provider if you have trouble sleeping.
Physical abuse may cause you to feel scared, depressed, or anxious. Your healthcare provider may suggest that you see a counselor to talk about how you are feeling.
- Report physical abuse: It may be hard to report physical abuse, but it is very important. Healthcare providers can help you if you are at risk for or are a victim of physical abuse.
- Go to follow-up visits: Your healthcare provider may talk to you, your family, friends, or those who should be held responsible for physical abuse. This may include what may happen if the abuse does not stop.
For support and more information:
- National Center on Elder Abuse
101 The City Drive South 200 Building
Orange , CA 92868
Phone: 1- 855 - 500-3537
Web Address: http://www.ncea.aoa.gov/NCEAroot/Main_Site/Index.aspx
Contact your healthcare provider if:
- You cannot get to your next office visit.
- You have new signs and symptoms.
- You have questions or concerns about your condition or care.
Seek care immediately or call 911 if:
- You feel like hurting yourself or someone else.
- You feel that you cannot cope with the abuse, or your recovery from it.
- You have shortness of breath, chest pain, or a fast heartbeat.
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The above information is an educational aid only. It is not intended as medical advice for individual conditions or treatments. Talk to your doctor, nurse or pharmacist before following any medical regimen to see if it is safe and effective for you.
Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.