Physical Conditions of Abused At-risk Adults *

The presence of  physical injuries which cannot  be adequately explained  indicate the need for futher investigation to determine whether the individual is being physically abused by a caregiver or is harming themselves.  Injuries that can be plausably explained may still indicate that a particular individual is unable to adquately care for themselves.  Often at-risk adults who are being abused or harming themselves may be unable or unwilling to explain the cause of their injuries and making a definitive determination of causal factors may be difficult.

Look for:

  • bruises

  • burn marks

  • cuts/scrapes/punctures

  • welts

  • rope burns

  • tufts of hair missing

  • broken  teeth or bones

*   Thorough investigtion of each individual sitation is required to get an accurate assessment of the causal factors which may explain the physical condition of an at-risk adult.   When injuries are present it is also important to identify any persons (other than the individual) , animals or objects in the environment that may be a source of harm to the individual.  This information should be incorporated into the overall context and circumstances of the individual’s physical condition.