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Recognizing and Preventing Elder Abuse [Video]

It’s a concern that health experts say is becoming more common in Southwest Florida. “It’s important to bring it to our community’s attention because Florida has one of the largest population groups of elderly people in the U.S.,” said Tracy Walton, a trauma injury prevention educator with Lee Health.It’s important to check in on our elderly loved ones. “We can prevent elder abuse by actively listening to our neighbors, our families, our friends, talking to each other, looking for the signs of abuse,” she said.Elderly abuse can happen in different ways including physical, sexual, financial, and emotional. Making it important to notice any sudden changes to a loved one’s behavior. “There is physical, which is going to be bruises, cuts, abrasions, broken bones, things of that nature. Emotionally, people will be withdrawn. They will withdrawal from their normal activities, start to act differently to their family and friends, so you can notice a mental change in that person. We need to think about neglect as being part of abuse and that’s withholding the basic human rights of an elderly person, water, food, shelter, clothing,” she said.If you suspect a person is a victim of elderly abuse it’s important to call authorities. “If we as neighbors, families, friends, caregivers, medical providers, are not watching for the elderly, and they are alone and they don’t have any family, there’s nobody to protect them,” said Walton.View More Health Matters video segments at LeeHealth.org/Healthmatters/Lee Health in Fort Myers, FL is the largest network of health care facilities in Southwest Florida and is highly respected for its expertise, innovation and quality of care. For more than 100 years, we’ve been providing our community with personalized preventative health services and primary care to highly specialized care services and robotic assisted surgeries. Lee Health – Caring People. Inspiring Care.Visit LeeHealth.org