Are You Missing the Signs of Elder Abuse in an Aging Loved One?

woman scolding senior woman

Learn these signs of elder abuse to keep an aging loved one safe.

It’s a given that abusing a senior is something that is unthinkable in the minds of most people, but it’s a concerningly prevalent issue in the United States. Elder abuse happens in many forms, from physical to emotional, and it affects the most frail and vulnerable among us.

Because seniors are often silent about the elder abuse they face, it’s vital for loved ones of aging adults to know the warning signs of elder abuse so as to protect their senior loved ones. Our home care professionals have gathered together several of the warning signs that may suggest elder abuse.

Emotional Abuse

  • Controlling behavior from the caregiver, such as:
  • Humiliating or ridiculing the senior
  • Shouting at or threatening the older adult
  • Isolating the older adult from friends and relatives
  • Ignoring the older adult
  • Behavior that mimics dementia, including rocking, sucking, or muttering to himself or herself

Physical Abuse

  • Sprains or broken bones
  • Indications of injuries such as bruises, welts, or scars, particularly if they are noted symmetrically on both sides of the body
  • Broken or cracked eyeglasses
  • Regularly missed medications or drug overdoses
  • Caregivers refusing to allow the senior to be seen alone
  • Evidence of being restrained, including bruises or red marks on the wrists

Neglect

  • Physical concerns, such as bed sores, that have not been treated
  • Detrimental reduction in weight or malnutrition
  • Neglected hygiene
  • Unsanitary or unsafe living conditions (no running water or heat, defective electrical wiring, other fire hazards)
  • Improper clothing or covering for the weather
  • Desertion of the older adult at a public place

Early on, the signs of elder abuse may be challenging to notice because they can be similar to signs of Alzheimer’s or naturally increased frailty. Even further, the caregiver who is inflicting the abuse may attempt to come up with excuses for the signs you notice. To help prevent abuse, make sure to call and visit senior loved ones frequently, and be on the lookout for any changes in the senior’s personality or behavior. If any indicators of elder abuse are observed or suspected, they should be reported immediately.

Endeavor In Home Care’s compassionate caregivers can help families keep aging loved ones safe, happy, and healthy. As the top-rated home care agency providing expert at-home care in Scottsdale and the nearby areas, we can also provide specialized dementia care, to ensure that seniors are safe and well cared for. Contact us at (480) 498-2324 for a free assessment to learn how we can help an aging adult you love.