Of course, it’s hard to believe that someone would even consider abusing an aging adult, but it’s tragically a common circumstance in the United States. Elder abuse occurs in many forms, from physical to emotional, and it strikes the most frail and vulnerable among us.
As seniors are often slow to admitting that they’re being abused, it’s important for friends and family members of aging adults to know the warning signs of elder abuse to help keep their aging loved ones safe. Our home care team has gathered together some of the warning signs that may suggest elder abuse.
- Sprains or broken bones
- Regularly missed medications or drug overdoses
- Signs of injuries like scars, bruises, or welts, particularly if they appear symmetrically on both sides of the person’s body
- Evidence of being restrained, like bruises or red marks on the wrists
- Caregivers who refuse to let anyone visit with the senior alone
- Broken or cracked eyeglasses
- Physical problems, such as bed sores, that have not been cared for
- Unsanitary living conditions
- Unhealthy loss of weight or malnutrition
- Unsuitable clothing or covering for the weather
- Unsafe living conditions (no running water or heat; faulty electrical wiring, other fire risks)
- Neglected hygiene
- Abandonment of the senior in a public place
- Shouting at or threatening the older adult
- Humiliating or making fun of the senior
- Controlling tendencies from the caregiver, such as: distancing the older person from friends and family
- Behavior that mimics dementia, such as rocking, sucking, or mumbling to himself or herself
- Neglecting the older adult
The initial signs of elder abuse can be challenging to recognize because they often look similar to symptoms of Alzheimer’s or natural increased frailty. Additionally, a caregiver who is abusing the older person may possibly justify signs of abuse away.
You can help prevent elder abuse by visiting and calling aging loved ones often and looking for any changes in the senior’s personality or behavior. If any indicators of elder abuse are observed or suspected, they need to be reported immediately.
Heaven at Home Senior Care can help families keep their loved ones safe, happy, and healthy with our home care management services. As the preferred home care agency in Denton and the nearby areas, we can provide in-home care services, including specialized dementia care, to ensure that older individuals are safe and well cared for.