While it may seem unconscionable, elderly people often fall victim to abuse. This abuse can come from their family members, friends, or even the nursing home staff responsible for providing care.
That is why you must understand the signs of elder abuse, which will allow you to act quickly should an issue arise. Here are a few signs to look for if you suspect a loved one is being mistreated.
All types of abuse can take an emotional toll on a person. You might notice that your loved one seems withdrawn or depressed. They may refuse to spend time with others or neglect their own personal care and hygiene. Emotional issues are serious on their own, even when abuse does not play a role. Accordingly, you should seek mental health counseling for your loved one immediately to get to the bottom of the issue.
Older adults may experience injuries due to lack of mobility or vision issues. However, their caregivers must ensure they can get around the home or assisted living facility easily without injuring themselves. Repeated instances of black eyes, broken bones, bruises, and lacerations can indicate neglect. It can also indicate outright physical abuse, in which case the senior requires immediate assistance to safeguard them against future threats.
Trouble paying bills
Many seniors live on a fixed income, which means they must be very careful with their money from month to month. When financial abuse occurs, a person may have difficulty paying bills when they did not before. They may have notices from their utility company and creditors about overdue bills. They may also be unable to buy food or other essentials. In this case, you can step in and offer help with their financial situation.
You can also protect senior loved ones from abuse by playing an active role in their life. Abusers are less likely to target people with strong social networks, as these seniors are less vulnerable when compared to those who live in isolation.