Recognizing and Preventing Senior Abuse
As seniors age, many become more reliant on others to help care for them. While they may be living fairly independently, they often receive support with daily tasks, managing finances or medications, transportation to and from activities, and other tasks. Unfortunately senior abuse is a serious problem that can sometimes go overlooked.
As memory and mobility decline, it can be easier for people to take advantage of seniors.
Senior abuse is not always physical; there are other forms of abuse as well, including:
- Sexual abuse
- Emotional Abuse
You may notice that your loved one has cuts, bruises, or broken bones that seem out of character. They may become more withdrawn or fearful around certain people from physical, emotional, or sexual abuse. Exploitation could put their financial security in jeopardy or lead to missing property. Neglect or abandonment could result in declining health and well being. All of these things can be serious problems for seniors and are issues that family members, friends, and healthcare providers should be aware of.
There are several steps you can take in preventing senior abuse:
- Research care providers. If your loved one receives in-home care, ensure that you have researched the organization and they are licensed and provide thorough screenings on all employees. Get to know the person who is providing senior care and report any concerns that you may have.
- Check in regularly. Whether you call, visit, or chat online, stay in touch with your loved one on a regular basis. Be alert for any warning signs that may indicate senior abuse and listen to any concerns your senior may have. If you can’t be there, ask someone you trust to check in. An in-home caregiver may also be able to alert you if they notice anything out of the ordinary. Make sure you check in on their finances periodically too or offer to take over paying the bills. This gives them less to worry about, eliminates potential for financial fraud and assures no one will take advantage of them.
- Keep your senior active. Make sure they are not isolating themselves and have the opportunity to engage socially and interact with others. This can keep them more mentally alert and help prevent senior abuse. It can also build a network of support and connect them to valuable resources. Look for reputable senior groups or activities in their area.
- Ask for help if you need it. Don’t feel obligated to take on the responsibility of caregiver all on your own. This can be physically and mentally exhausting. Hiring senior care services can take some of the burden off you and reduce risk of burnout.
- Video Monitoring. Install a nanny-type video camera in your loved one’s home, especially if you are suspicious. Any doubts you have will hopefully be put at ease with a live-feed video.
Protect your loved one from senior abuse by being actively involved in their care and recognizing warning signs. If you do see something concerning, make sure you report it so that it can be investigated further. When looking for senior services, trust in a provider such as Always Best Care for high quality care that will keep your loved one safe. Always Best Care is a fully licensed organization, and caregivers are bonded and insured. Learn more about how we can help by calling (267) 217-7059 today!