Eldercare homes have the duty of taking care of our loved elders. While many institutions provide excellent service, some facilities fail our expectations of them and abuse the elderly. When elders live away from home, it can be hard to recognize signs of abuse.
Nearly 10% of all older people suffer elder abuse to some degree. Spotting signs of abuse can be challenging when the treatment is not physical. Knowing what to look for can keep your loved one from continuing to suffer.
Forms of elder abuse
There are several methods in which a person in a position of power can abuse an elder. The main categories of abuse include:
- Physical abuse: can appear as bruising, soreness, and even fear of others.
- Emotional abuse: signs of this include depression, anxiety, or confusion.
- Neglect: poor hygiene or contaminated areas of the body like teeth or under the nails.
- Healthcare fraud: experiences like unexpected issues involving prescription refills can mean someone is stealing them.
- Sexual abuse: a victim can develop an aversion to taking clothes off or being alone.
- Financial abuse: sudden changes to estate planning or significant banking changes can mean someone is influencing an elder.
It is common for victims of any abuse to not speak out about what they are going through. This silence is especially true for mentally vulnerable elders. When a victim will not or cannot speak for themselves, it is up to their loved ones to look out for them.
Awareness is key
No matter how trustworthy an elder care facility and their staff may seem, there is no guarantee of an abuse-free home. Keep a close on your loved ones and watch out for any signs of abuse.