It is devastating to even imagine your aging loved one might be abused by a family member or caregiver. But according to the Administration on Aging’s National Center on Elder Abuse, up to 10 percent of seniors will be abused or neglected by their caregivers in a given year. Many seniors become the objects of elder abuse and experience mental, emotional, physical, and financial issues as a result. Being mindful of the following signs of elder abuse can help you keep your parent safe, happy, and healthy.
1. Unexplained Injuries
Whenever you visit your loved one, look for unexplained fractures, bruises, sores, cuts, or burns, especially if these injuries are frequent. Any inexplicable broken bones or explanations that seem suspicious should also raise alarm.
2. Evidence of Neglect
Signs of neglect include your loved one being left alone for long periods if he or she is bedridden or has dementia. Also keep an eye out for a lack of hygiene, adequate food, or clean clothes, untreated wounds or pressure sores, and a dirty or cluttered living environment where fire, tripping, or other safety hazards are present.
If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of homecare services. Our caregivers provide transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping.
3. Paranoid Behavior
If your loved one is being abused, he or she might appear unusually paranoid or display signs of bizarre behavior such as a refusal to leave the home. Your loved one may also become distrustful of you and other people. He or she may become isolated from family and friends, and the abusive caregiver may seem controlling, uncaring, or verbally aggressive. Your loved one may ask you to stay if he or she is being abused, and be aware that signs of distress tend to become more prominent when the caregiver isn’t around.
4. Changes in Personality
If your parent has always had a positive outlook on life but has begun viewing everything through a negative lens or gone from mild-mannered to easily incensed, don’t write it off as an age-related change. Look for signs such as withdrawal from normal activities, depression, increased alertness, or other unusual emotional changes. If your loved one’s personality has changed, he or she might be experiencing abuse.
5. Unusual Weight Loss
Has your loved one lost a lot of weight in a short time? Unexplained weight loss might mean your loved one isn’t being fed properly. If your loved one is being abused, his or her appetite may also be negatively affected.
Some seniors need occasional assistance at home, and oftentimes the family members who take care of them need time away to run errands, take a nap, go to work, or take a vacation. Amarillo respite care experts from Home Care Assistance are available on an as-needed basis, giving your family peace of mind that your loved one will remain safe and comfortable while you relax or focus on other important responsibilities.
6. Strange Withdrawals from Bank Accounts
If you’re concerned about the possibility of elder abuse, pay close attention to your loved one’s bank accounts. Strange account activity, such as large withdrawals of cash or a withdrawal from an ATM you know your parent couldn’t have physically completed, could indicate elder abuse. Also, if your loved one is lacking amenities despite being able to afford these items, if a caregiver has complete control over your parent’s money or is being paid too much for provided services, or if property transfers or legal documents have been drawn up without anyone else’s knowledge, financial abuse may be occurring.
Hiring a professional caregiver is one of the best ways to prevent elder abuse and ensure your loved one receives high-quality in-home care. Families shouldn’t have to worry about finding reliable homecare. Amarillo Home Care Assistance is a leading provider of elderly home care. We offer a proprietary program called the Balanced Care Method, which uses holistic methods to promote senior health, our caregivers and Care Managers are available 24/7, and all of our in-home care services are backed with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Call (806) 803-9991 today to schedule a free in-home consultation.