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Tips on Recognizing the Signs of Elder Abuse

While elder abuse is something that we would never expect to occur, it’s a tragically common occurrence in the U.S. Elder abuse occurs in many forms, from physical, emotional, or neglect. Because elder abuse is often a silent problem, it’s essential for families and friends of seniors to be aware of the signs of elder abuse to protect their loved ones.

Check out some of the warning signs that may indicate elder abuse:


Physical Abuse

  • Signs of injury like broken bones, bruises, welts, or scars especially if they appear symmetrically on two sides of the body or on the wrists
  • Drug overdoses or regularly missed medications
  • Broken eyeglasses
  • Caregivers refusing to allow the senior to be seen alone

Emotional Abuse

  • Behavior that mimics dementia, such as rocking, or mumbling to oneself
  • Controlling behavior from the caregiver such as:
    • Yelling at or threatening
    • Humiliating or ridiculing
    • Ignoring the senior
    • Isolating the senior from friends and family

Neglect:

  • Physical problems, such as bed sores and unhealthy weight loss or malnutrition
  • Unsanitary living conditions, such as neglected hygiene and a messy living area
  • Unsuitable clothing or covering for the weather
  • Unsafe living conditions, such as no heat or running water; faulty electrical wiring or other fire hazards
  • Desertion of the senior at a public place

The early signs of elder abuse may be difficult to recognize and may also appear to be symptoms of a disease or from increased frailty. A caregiver who is abusing the senior may also 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 senior’s personality or behavior. If any signs of elder abuse are witnessed or suspected, they should be reported immediately.

Comprehensive Home Care’s Charlotte, NC respite care services can help families keep senior loved ones safe, happy, and healthy. As the top-rated home care agency in the Charlotte area, we can provide home care services, Alzheimer’s and dementia care, and services for people with disabilities to ensure that seniors are safe and well cared for. Contact us here or call us at 704-333-5214 for a professional assessment and to learn how we can protect your loved one.

Check out Is Your Senior Loved One at Risk for Elder Abuse? for more tips on recognizing the signs.

Is Your Senior Loved One at Risk for Elder Abuse?

Helping seniors stay healthy and safe is the main goal of our Charlotte, NC senior care professionals. For this reason, it’s essential that we discuss a difficult topic, elder abuse. The CDC estimates that around 500,000 older adults are abused or neglected every year in the U.S. and many other cases are unreported each year. As a family or friend of a senior receiving care, it’s important to be mindful of the risk factors.

Be aware of the following risk factors associated with elder abuse:

  • Dependency on others. Seniors are sometimes reluctant to speak up about any abuse because they may fear that a different caregiver will not meet their needs.
  • Decreased physical health and mobility. Seniors with certain diseases and disabilities may be at higher a risk of abuse because he/she may not be able to verbalize the abuse.
  • History of abuse. If someone has a history of abuse there is an increased risk for abuse in their later years. This is the case especially when a victim of abuse by the senior is now their primary caregiver.
  • Social isolation. Social isolation often occurs when a senior loses a spouse or lives at a distance from family and friends. Abusers often try to keep seniors isolated by doing the following:
    • Refusing to apply for economic aid or services.
    • Resisting outside help.
    • Changing social and healthcare providers frequently to make it difficult for the senior to assess their health status.
    • Controlling contact with family and friends.
  • Family caregiver stress or burnout. Overwhelmed caregivers may start to lash out at the seniors in their care.

Make sure to call or visit as often as possible to also play an active role in their care. Comprehensive Home Care can also help as we understand the importance of a senior’s health and safety. Each member of our Charlotte, NC senior care team has passed a thorough background check, reference checks, and an in-depth personal interview to ensure they meet high standards. All of our caregivers are licensed certified nursing assistants (CNAs) in good standing in the state of North Carolina, so rest assured your loved one is in capable, experienced hands. Contact us today to learn more about our Charlotte home care services.

Now that you’re prepared for this threat, check out The Latest in Helping Elderly Parents Avoid Phone Scams.