Providing the assistance that helps seniors remain happy, healthy, and independent is the desire of not only our professional senior care team, but of every family caregiver who has ever helped care for a loved one. Considering the wellbeing of older adults is so important to us, it’s essential that we go over something that can be challenging for many of us to even contemplate – elder abuse.
The CDC states that about 500,000 older adults are neglected or abused every year in the United States alone. Not only that, but countless additional elder abuse instances are presumed to go unreported each year, which is why it’s imperative for family caregivers to be aware of possible abuse risks.
Following are a few of the risk factors that may be noted with elder abuse:
- Dependence on others: Older adults who depend upon others for care are commonly hesitant to speak up about any abuse since they may feel vulnerable or that their care needs will not be able to be met by another individual if the abuser is reported.
- Diminished physical health and mobility: Alzheimer’s, dementia, or other health conditions may increase a senior’s risk of being abused, as he or she may be incapable of explaining or verbalizing the abuse.
- History of abuse: If the older adult was abusive as a parent, there is an elevated likelihood for elder abuse, especially if an adult child who was abused by the senior is the primary caretaker.
- Social isolation: Social isolation commonly results when a senior loses a spouse or lives at a distance from friends and family, and it can result in the perfect environment for elder abuse. Abusers notoriously try to keep older adults isolated by:
- Refusing to accept economic aid or services
- Resisting outside assistance
- Changing social and healthcare professionals on a regular basis to make it challenging to assess the older adult’s health status
- Controlling contact with the older adult
- Family caregiver burnout or stress: Overwhelmed caregivers can become discouraged, causing them to lash out at the seniors in their care.
If a loved one is currently being cared for by a family member, friend, or another caregiver, be conscious of these risk factors, call or visit as often as possible to appraise the senior’s health, and play an active role in his / her care.
At CareFor, we know how important a senior loved one’s health and wellbeing are, and we take the right measures to ensure we provide the highest level of elder care Austin, TX residents can trust. Every member of our Austin senior home care and care management team has undergone a comprehensive background check, reference checks, and a personal interview to confirm that they meet our high care criteria. Contact us online today or call (512) 338-4533 to learn more about our care management and home care services.