Elder abuse happens to 1 in 10 seniors. Help spot the signs of elder abuse and protect your loved one.
What is Elder Abuse?
As individuals age and have less mobility and independence, they are more susceptible to elder abuse and becoming a victim of financial predators.
Some examples of types of elder abuse are physical, sexual and emotional abuse, exploitation, neglect, and abandonment. Predators can include staff at nursing home or caretaking facilities, children, spouses, family members or even strangers.
Look for the warning signs of elder abuse:
- Physical: bruises, burns, abrasions, broken bones, pressure marks.
- Emotional: unexplained or unusual depression, withdrawal from normal activities, change in alertness, strained relationships, and arguments between caregiver and adult.
- Neglect: poor hygiene, sudden weight loss, bedsores and other unattended medical needs.
- Verbal or emotional abuse: Overhearing or witnessing threats, demeaning comments or power struggles between older adult and caretaker or another individual.
Financial Abuse and Financial Predators
Very few cases of financial abuse are reported. It can be heartbreaking for an older individual to work hard their entire life, only to be preyed upon by a stranger or loved one.
Warning signs that indicate a senior may be a victim of financial abuse:
Bills are going past due or unpaid even though the individual has the resources to pay them.
Items or services are purchased that the older adult doesn’t have a use for such as gym memberships or new technology.
Items purchased at a time when senior wouldn’t be active on the account such as ATM withdraws late at night.
Money or valuable items are missing from the adult’s home.
Sudden changes made to power of attorney, property titles or wills.
The Senior is receiving care at a rate much lower than the quality he/she can afford.
The Senior is isolated from family or is afraid to speak in front of family members, caregivers or friends.
If you see any of these signs, report the abuse to proper authorities so they can investigate further.
Seniors who have been abused in some form have a 300% higher risk of death compared to individuals who have not been mistreated. Abuse can also cause depression, isolation and withdraw from normal activities. Watch for the warning signs to protect your loved one.
Home Care Tip:
When you partner with a home care agency, like Caregivers by WholeCare, our caregivers and support staff have a fresh set of eyes to detect the early signs of elder abuse. If you’re an adult child who is living in a different city or state, having the peace of mind from a home care agency can be an added peace of mind.