If you think elderly abuse is rare, think again. In 2017, 1 in 6 elderly people experienced abuse in a nursing home according to research.
There are many different forms of abuse, such as emotional, physical, sexual, and financial. Seniors are vulnerable to these forms of abuse because of their limited mobility. And, sometimes because of limited mental abilities.
It’s crucial that you recognize the signs of elder abuse. Your family member depends on it. Keep reading to learn all the signs of elder abuse.
Emotional Signs of Elder Abuse
Emotional abuse is just as detrimental as any other type of elder abuse.
It often displays as a caregiver threatening or manipulating the elderly person. Sometimes it means isolating them from their peers and ignoring them altogether. Other times it’s humiliating them, intimidating them, and scapegoating them.
The signs of emotional abuse to look for are withdrawal, depression, and lack of communication. The senior may feel scared to talk openly.
Physical Signs of Elder Abuse
The signs and symptoms of physical and sexual abuse are usually more visible than other types of abuse.
You may notice:
- Unexplained bruises, cuts, and scrapes
- Burns or welts
- Pain and discomfort in the genital area
Some seniors have unexplained sexually transmitted infections. Although it can be uncomfortable to ask your parent or grandparent about these things, it’s imperative. Open the conversation and don’t ignore these signs.
Financial Signs of Elder Abuse
You may notice signs of financial abuse in seniors living in a nursing home or seniors who receive at-home care. It can be from family members, caregivers, and complete strangers.
Here are the signs to look for:
- The senior can’t explain transactions on their bank statement
- They’re missing amenities that you know they can afford
- They give excessive gifts and bonuses to their caregiver
Some scam companies will prey on elderly people. They may use a charitable cause to guilt the senior into giving them money. Or, even worse, they can threaten seniors to get their money.
Signs from the Caregiver
Pay attention to the behavior of the people who take care of your elderly loved one. And, always listen to the senior’s concerns or complaints about their caregiver.
You may notice the following from the caregiver:
- Showing indifference or contempt for the senior
- Anger and aggression
They may also withhold all forms of affection or companionship. Consider doing a spontaneous drop-by to see how the senior is doing. Notice the caregiver’s disposition.
Interested in Learning More?
It’s extremely important to keep an eye out for signs of elder abuse. Sometimes the senior won’t tell anyone or ask for help out of fear of retaliation. Or, they may not have the capabilities to reach out.
Always take their concerns seriously. If you do notice one or more of the signs above, consider calling the police. Or, reach out to a domestic violence hotline for guidance.
For more on this subject, read our blog “Seniors Beware! 10 Senior Scams to Watch Out For.”
Seniors Helping Seniors is a unique care program that matches seniors to other seniors in need of assistance, to continue activities they enjoy and remain independent and safe in familiar surroundings.
If you’re looking for assistance for yourself, a loved one, or you are a senior interested in providing care, please contact us or call us at 800-481-2488 to learn more.