Health Blog

Normal Verses Abnormal Bruising on the Elderly: Spotting Abuse

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Bruising, spotting, blood clots; these might be signs of elderly abuse, but might also be normal occurrences a loved one deals with. Further, if family issues or history is linked to this type of medical concern, it is important to note this when trying to determine whether or not elderly abuse is occurring with a loved one. It is important to know their medical history, issues with bleeding or other bruising. If no known history is present, and you want to find out why these issues are occurring, a law firm dealing with elderly abuse can help. Not only will they intervene on your behalf, but will determine if abuse is taking place, and the legal steps to take if this is the case. 

These are a few ways to determine the difference between normal and abnormal bruising when trying to determine potential of elderly abuse taking place. 

Family history – 
Again, if they have always had a problem with bruising, easily nicking or cutting themselves, or clotting, this might not be a concern. Further, if there is a family history, or medical problem such as hemophilia, then these are all medical conditions which have to be noted before placing a family member in nursing home care. 

Where they are visible – 
If bruising is apparent on the arms and legs, it might simply be that they hit themselves when walking or doing other activities. If however the marks are around the neck, jaw line, if there is a pattern or redness or purple marks around the veins, where these marks are hidden, this might be a sign of abuse. Areas which are easy to hide marks, or instances when elderly loved ones are covering up areas (neck, stomach, etc) with clothing, might be a sign that abuse is occurring. Make sure to document these marks, how frequently they occur, and the level/type of pain associated with them. 

Accident or “on purpose” – 
You know there are some bruises which are accidental. You have probably had a bruise on your arm or leg from slamming your foot into the bed. If this is the case, you can clearly tell these bruises or clotting are accidental. However, if there is an ongoing occurrence, if the marks are being hidden, or if clotting and pain is visible, this might be a sign of abuse. When determining the difference, you also have to consider your family member’s history, consider whether or not they are clumsy and prone to such accidents, and make sure you document these occurrences, in order to determine whether or not they are accidental or if there is a possibility of abuse is present when they are under at home or nursing home care. 

A bruise might simply be a bruise, especially in women and elderly individuals, even a small ding on the bed post might result in a major bruise. But, if the bruising and clotting is constant, if there are signs of neglect, or if the family member is hiding something from you regularly, these might be signs of potential abuse. The best way to determine a problem is to speak with your loved ones regularly, communicate with them, and check their body for signs of abuse, in order to ensure abuse is not occurring, and if it is, for you to get the immediate help required to stop it.

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