7 Alarming Signs of Elder Abuse

By Matt Rogers, 9:00 am on

Many seniors are physically or mentally vulnerable, which can put them at risk of abuse and neglect. Fortunately, dedicated family members and caregivers can help stop this abuse. Keep an eye out for these seven warning signs of elder abuse so you can put an end to it.

1. Personality Changes

Frequent emotional or physical abuse can cause a senior to withdraw, become more cautious, or display symptoms of dementia. If you notice these signs, schedule a doctor’s visit to rule out mental issues. Unexplained personality changes may be a sign it is time to hire a new caregiver for your aging loved one. 

There are many reasons seniors might need assistance at home. Some may require regular mental stimulation due to an Alzheimer’s diagnosis, while others might only need part-time assistance with exercise and basic household tasks. Home Care Assistance is a leading Pembroke Pines, FL, in-home care provider. Families rely on our expertly trained caregivers to help their senior loved ones maintain a high quality of life.

2. Increased Injuries

Impaired balance and decreased mobility are fairly common in the golden years, but it is not normal for a senior to always have bruises due to falls. Physical elder abuse may result in injuries. If your loved one can explain his or her injuries, take steps to address them. However, you may need to investigate the caregiver’s actions if your loved one continues to get injured.

3. Missing Money

Financial exploitation is a common type of elder abuse, so keep an eye out for any sudden bank withdrawals, missing credit cards, or lost money. Placing your loved one’s assets in secure accounts managed by an experienced financial advisor could prevent financial abuse from arising.

4. Frequent Arguments with a Caregiver

If you notice arguments and tension between your loved one and his or her caregiver, you should be concerned. It is wise to find another caregiver who gets along better with your loved one, even if there is no definitive proof of abuse. 

Pembroke Pines respite care professionals can assist seniors with a wide array of daily tasks, offering family caregivers the chance to focus on other personal responsibilities or take a break to prevent burnout. Whether it’s for a few hours a day or a few days a week, respite care is the perfect solution for family caregivers who are feeling overwhelmed.

5. Controlling Caregiver

Your loved one may be being abused if the caregiver does not allow you to spend time alone with him or her. If you notice this type of behavior, ask for a moment alone with your loved one and talk to him or her about the abuse.

6. Neglected Appearance

Neglect on part of the caregiver can cause a senior to lose weight, become dehydrated, and have untreated bed sores. You may notice your loved one looks dirty or has soiled clothing. Any of these signs of neglect means it may be time to find a new caregiver.

7. Improper Medicine Use

This form of elder abuse may include withholding medication until the senior agrees to obey the caregiver. If your loved one is not taking the proper amount of medication at the correct time, you should investigate the matter, look for signs of elder abuse, and consider hiring another caregiver.

If your senior loved one needs hourly or live-in care, Pembroke Pines Home Care Assistance can help. Our caregivers can assist with exercise and mobility, prepare nutritious meals, provide timely medication reminders, and help with a wide array of other important daily tasks. To create a customized care plan to help your senior loved one age in place safely and comfortably, call one of our professional Care Managers at (954) 374-8273.

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