by Lori Thomas, Senioradvice.com.
When we put our senior loved one’s lives in the hands of an elder care professional, we are putting a great deal of faith in these individuals. We also understandably assume that they are going to have our loved one’s best interests at heart. Unfortunately, while many senior care providers do provide quality care for seniors, there are countless cases of elder care abuse each and every year and examples of caregivers abusing their role and harming the very seniors they are supposed to be looking after.
Elder abuse can be in the form of emotional, physical or even financial abuse and while some seniors may be aware of their abuse, many don’t even realize it is happening to them. This is why it is so important you are able to step in.
While no one ever wants their senior loved one to be a victim of this type of abuse, these situations happen each and every day. This is why it is important that you are able to look for and identify the signs of elder care abuse, so you can spot it, report it and prevent it from happening again.
These are the signs of physical elder abuse:
- Unexplained bruises, welts or scars (most commonly, these signs of injury will appear symmetrically on both sides of the body)
- Broken bones or dislocations
- Sprains or tender areas on the body
- Seniors who suddenly are hand shy or flinch when someone lifts their hand
- Broken eye glasses
- Signs of rope or ties on the wrist restraining your loved one
- Caregivers acting suspicious of you visiting with your loved one alone
These are the signs of emotional elder abuse
- Witnessing signs of belittling your loved one
- Controlling behavior from your caregiver
- Reports or signs of threats
- Behavior that mimics dementia such as rocking or mumbling, in seniors that don’t have dementia
These are the signs of sexual elder abuse
- Bruises or marks around genitals or breasts
- Unexplained vaginal or anal bleeds
- Torn, bloody or stained underwear
These are the signs of neglect from an elder caregiver
- Unexplained weight loss
- New, untreated physical issues like bed sores
- Seniors who are left dirty or in dirty living conditions
- Seniors wearing inappropriate clothing for the weather
These are the signs of financial elder abuse
- Significant withdrawals from the senior’s bank account
- Cash or valuable items missing from the senior’s home
- Suspicious changes in wills or power of attorney
- Addition of names to the senior’s signature card
- Unpaid bills when the senior can afford them
- Suspicious financial activity the senior could not have performed
Keep these warning signs in mind if your loved one is under any type of elder care. The more diligent you are about spotting these signs, the better your chances are of preventing a corrupt elder care provider from harming those you love the most.