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Tips to Recognize 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 or threatening, humiliating or ridiculing, ignoring the senior, or isolating from friends and family.

Neglect

  • Physical signs, such as bed sores and unhealthy weight loss/gain 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. Report immediately if you suspect your loved one is at risk.

Comprehensive Home Care’s respite care can help families keep senior loved ones safe, happy, and healthy. Contact us here or call us at 704-333-5214 for a professional assessment.

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

Caring for Older Parents? Ask These Questions Before They Move In

Probably the most admirable decision an adult can make is to open up their house to an older parent. Our parents took care of us, so it seems obvious to return the favor if they need a safe place to live. However, there are a number of things to consider when caring for older parents. 

Check out these key questions to ask when caring for older parents and deciding where they should live:


 

Is there sufficient space?

For example, consider how making room for the parent can lead to a change in another family member’s accommodations.

Is the home safe and efficient for the elderly’s needs?

Walk through your home and try to see it through the viewpoint of your parent. Are pathways clear between the senior’s bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, etc.? Should you install grab bars, a ramp, or other home care equipment?

Will someone be home each day?

Isolation and the dangers of being left alone will still be a problem if you and your spouse work outside the home.

Is everyone completely agreeable with the plan?

While you may be thoroughly convinced of your senior parent’s new living arrangements, feelings of reluctance, or resentment on the part a family member can create stress.

Are you prepared to handle increasing care needs?

While they may just need a little help currently, disease progression and the normal frailties associated with aging will change the amount of care needed. Think about the potential difficulties.

Is your parent okay with this decision?

Giving up status as “head of the household” is extremely challenging for some seniors. It takes careful planning to help your parent maintain self-esteem, autonomy, and a sense of control.

If you’re feeling uncertain about your ability to look after your loved one, consider the addition of a home care provider, such as a Comprehensive Home Care specialist. Our knowledgeable caregivers partner with families to ensure your loved one stays safe and can thrive inside their homes. Whether the care involves a few hours each week of companionship to promote socialization, personal care assistance for safe bathing and dressing, help with household chores and meal preparation, or round-the-clock, live-in care. We provide a free in-home consultation to learn about your loved one and suggest a strategy of care to handle all concerns. Call us today at 704-333-5214 or contact us online to find out more about our care services.

Check out Planning a Family Meeting to Discuss Home Care on tips to discuss the change with your family.