Although of course abusing a senior is something that would never cross the mind of most people, it is a tragically typical occurrence in the U.S. Elder abuse happens in many variations, from physical to emotional, and it impacts the most frail and vulnerable among us.
Considering elder abuse is often a hidden problem, it’s extremely important for families and friends of older adults to be familiar with the warning signs of senior abuse to be able to protect their loved ones. Our home care and care management professionals have compiled some of the warning signs that may point to senior abuse.
- Warning signs of injury such as bruises, scars, or welts, especially if they are noted symmetrically on both sides of the senior’s body
- Broken bones or sprains
- Regularly missed medications or drug overdoses
- Broken eyeglasses
- Signs of being restrained, including bruises or red marks on the wrists
- Caregivers refusing to allow the senior to be seen alone
- Controlling behaviors from the caregiver, including:
- Shouting at or threatening the older person
- Humiliating or ridiculing the senior
- Ignoring the senior
- Separating the senior from friends and family
- Behavior that imitates dementia, including rocking, sucking, or muttering to himself/herself
- Unhealthy loss of weight or malnourishment
- Physical complications, such as bed sores, that have not been taken care of
- Unclean living conditions
- Neglected hygiene
- Improper clothing or covering for the weather
- Harmful living conditions (no running water or heat; defective electrical wiring, other fire risks)
- Desertion of the older adult in a public place
The very early signs of elder abuse may be challenging to identify and may seem to be signs of Alzheimer’s or increased frailty. Alternatively, a caregiver who is abusing the senior may possibly explain signs of abuse away. To help prevent abuse, make a point to call and visit senior loved ones often and be on the lookout for any changes in the older person’s personality or behavior. If any indications of elder abuse are noticed or suspected, they should be reported immediately.
CareFor, providers of home caregivers in Austin, TX and the surrounding area, can help families keep senior loved ones safe, happy, and healthy. We provide a full range of care management and in-home care services, including specialized dementia care, to ensure that seniors are safe and well cared for. Contact us online or call (512) 338-4533 for an assessment and to speak with our senior living experts to learn how we can help your loved one.