5 Tips for Preventing Elder Abuse

5 Ways to Prevent Elder Abuse

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Aging makes seniors susceptible to abuse. Older adults with dementia, vision or hearing issues, limited mobility, and other health concerns are more likely to experience neglect or mistreatment than their healthier counterparts. Here are five tips for preventing your senior loved one from experiencing elder abuse.

 

1. Recognize the Signs

When seniors are being mistreated, they usually display warning signs. Older adults who are abused may appear unclean or unkempt and show unusual signs of hunger. Bruises in the shape of finger indentations are often cause for concern. For example, if your loved one has finger-shaped marks around the wrist or elbow, it may mean someone grabbed his or her arm with too much force. 

Caring for senior loved ones can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Assisting Hands Home Care for the help they need. We provide high-quality in-home care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.

 

2. Look for Behavioral Changes

Abused seniors often go through personality changes. They may lose interest in former passions and suddenly become shy and awkward. While some of these behavioral changes can be attributed to other causes, such as dementia, you need to trust your instincts. If something about your loved one’s behavior feels wrong, there’s probably a reason.

 

3. Understand the Types of Elder Abuse

To prevent abuse from happening, it’s important to understand the types of elder abuse. Neglect is a common type of abuse, and neglected seniors often wear dirty, disheveled clothing or look malnourished. 

Financial abuse is also a common method of mistreatment. In such instances, unreliable individuals take advantage of seniors and persuade them to make poor financial decisions. When searching for signs of financial abuse, look for irregular bank withdrawals or expenditures, new credit lines, or unpaid bills. 

Some seniors are physically abused. Many actions fall under the category of physical abuse, ranging from physical violence to giving seniors excess doses of sleeping pills. Emotional abuse refers to verbal intimidation, disparaging remarks, and attempts to isolate seniors from their loved ones. 

For many seniors in Columbia, MD, live-in care is an essential component of aging in place safely and comfortably. However, it’s important for them to have caregivers they can trust and rely on. At Assisting Hands Home Care, we extensively screen all of our caregivers and only hire those who have experience in the senior home care industry. Our strict requirements ensure seniors can remain in the comfort of home with a reduced risk of injury or serious illness.

 

4. Identify Abusers

In some instances, family members abuse their senior relatives. To recognize and end abuse, it’s important to acknowledge that people who seem loving and kind in public can be abusive behind closed doors. Make sure to place your loved one’s care in the hands of a trusted and compassionate individual, be it a family member or a professional caregiver. 

 

5. Get Help

If you suspect your loved one is being abused, start by talking to a trusted friend or family member. Call the local hotline for reporting elder abuse. 

Hiring a professional caregiver is one of the best ways to keep your loved one safe from elder abuse while ensuring he or she receives high-quality in-home care. Many older adults are choosing to age in place, and some need a helping hand to continue living at home safely and comfortably. Luckily, there is professional home care Columbia seniors can trust and rely on. Rely on the professionals at Assisting Hands Home Care to provide high-quality compassionate care for your loved one. Give us a call today to learn about our flexible in-home care plans.