Sadly, elder abuse has become a common occurrence with millions of cases every year. Many of those cases go unreported, often because the signs of abuse can be confused with normal signs of aging. Nevertheless, there are some definite signals to look for if you suspect a case of elderly abuse.
1. Unexplained injuries: Perhaps the most obvious sign of abuse is the appearance of bruises, cuts, broken bones, or burns. The caretaker might explain these injuries as the result of an accident, but if they occur frequently or are accompanied by other warning signs, you might have a case of physical abuse.
2. Abrupt changes in finances: A caretaker may steal money or even persuade an elder to put them in charge of finances, give away money, or rewrite a will. Abrupt or unexplained changes in finances may be a sign of this kind of abuse.
3. Conflicts with caregivers: You might get conflicting stories about incidents from different caregivers, or the elderly individual may have frequent conflicts with his or her caregiver. You might sense some tension when talking to the caretaker him/herself. This could be an indicator that the caretaker is covering something up.
4. Lack of care: Another obvious sign is lack of basic care. Some elderly folks are not given the assistance they need with day-to-day living. They might wear the same dirty clothes day after day, or they may not have bathed in some time. Bedsores and other untreated medical conditions may indicate neglect.
5. Changes in behavior: While some changes in behavior come with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other afflictions, some shifts in the way your loved one acts could be a sign of emotional or physical abuse. This may take the form of talking to themselves, changing the subject when you talk to them, or developing a nervous tic.
If your neighbor, friend, or loved one is showing signs of abuse, report it as soon as possible. It also helps to look for reputable elderly care services in your area, such as Senior Care Centers.