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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.