Although abusing an older adult is something that most people would never even dream of doing, it’s a tragically prevailing circumstance in the United States. Elder abuse occurs in many forms, from physical to emotional, and it affects the most frail and vulnerable among us.
As elder abuse is in many cases a silent problem, it’s imperative for friends and family members of older adults to be informed about the symptoms and signs of elder abuse to be able to protect their senior loved ones. Our home care experts have pulled together a few of the warning signs that may indicate elder abuse.
- Evidence of injuries such as welts, bruises, or scars, especially if they display symmetrically on both sides of the person’s body
- Sprains or broken bones
- Regularly missed medications or drug overdoses
- Cracked or broken eyeglasses
- Signs of being restrained, such as red marks or bruises on the wrists
- Caregivers who refuse to let the senior be seen alone
- Controlling behaviors from the caregiver, such as:
- Screaming at or threatening the older adult
- Humiliating or ridiculing the senior
- Ignoring the older person
- Distancing the older adult from family and friends
- Behavior that resembles dementia, including rocking, sucking, or muttering to himself or herself
- Detrimental loss of weight or malnutrition
- Physical conditions, such as bed sores, that have not been addressed
- Unclean living conditions
- Neglected hygiene
- Unsuitable clothing or covering for the weather
- Unsafe living conditions (no heat or running water; defective electrical wiring, other fire hazards)
- Desertion of the senior in a public place
The initial signs of elder abuse may be tough to recognize and may appear to be signs or symptoms of Alzheimer’s or increased frailty. Additionally, a caregiver who is abusing the older adult may justify signs of abuse away. To help prevent abuse, make sure to visit and call senior loved ones frequently, and watch for any changes in the older person’s personality or behavior. If any indicators of elder abuse are witnessed or suspected, they should be reported immediately.
Live Well at Home can help families keep seniors safe, happy, and healthy. As the number one home care agency in Sacramento and the surrounding areas, we can provide in-home care services, including specialized Alzheimer’s care, to ensure that seniors are well cared for. Contact us online or call us at 916-459-3220 for a professional in-home assessment to learn how our Sacramento senior care services can help your loved one. To find out more about the other areas we serve in California, please visit our Service Area page.