When you entrust your loved one’s care to someone in a trusted position like a caregiver, you want to make sure your relative is adequately and respectfully cared after. Unfortunately, vulnerable family members may experience violation that results in despair, isolation, loss of productivity, physical injury or illness. These are all types of elder abuse.
Knowing some common identifiers of this horrible type of abuse can help protect loved ones in vulnerable situations.
1. Physical abuse
Be aware of signs of physical abuse such as broken bones, bruises, sprains, abrasions, poor hygiene, bed sores, extreme weight loss or other physical trauma. Vulnerable elders are susceptible to caregivers who might inflict physical injury, threat of injury or deprivation of basic human needs.
2. Emotional abuse
Indicators of emotional abuse are problems sleeping, unexplained changes in emotion or personality, unusually high blood pressure, issues sleeping, an obvious conflict between your loved one and his or her caregiver or drastic changes in alertness. Emotional abuse occurs when an elder is subject to mental pain, distress and anguish at the hands of another person.
Another common form of elder abuse is active or passive neglect. Neglect can appear as unsanitary or unsafe living conditions, signs of dehydration, absence of necessary medical supplies like a walker, hearing aids or dentures, lack of necessities like home utilities and food, skin sores, or unexplained worsening of the elder’s health.
Carefully keeping an eye out for signs of elder abuse and observing those who are in charge of your loved one’s care will help keep your relative safe. Do not let any abuse continue by raising even the slightest concerns and taking swift action to protect your friend or family member.