Sadly, loved ones in the care of others often suffer from elder abuse. It is estimated that 1 in 10 older people are abused every year.
It’s critical not to overlook the signs of elder abuse and take action quickly if you suspect your loved one is not being treated humanely.
Types of Abuse
There are various types of elder abuse to watch out for. The most common are:
- Physical abuse – hitting, punching, slapping, or pushing.
- Emotional abuse – yelling, threatening, ignoring, using hurtful words, and keeping them from family or friends.
- Neglect – not properly addressing the elder’s needs.
- Abandonment – leaving an older adult alone to fend for themselves when they need help.
- Sexual abuse – forcing an older person to watch or perform sexual acts.
Warning Signs to Look Out For
Once you entrust your loved one to the care of someone else, you must be diligent about monitoring their well being. Look for any changes in their mental, physical, or emotional state and keep a close eye on their finances.
Some common warning signs of elder abuse include:
- Frequent injuries such as bruises, burns, scars, broken bones, cuts, or other obvious signs of mistreatment.
- Malnourishment or sudden weight loss.
- Anxiety, depression, or confusion.
- Poor hygiene: looks dirty or unwashed.
- Unexplained transactions or spending not consistent with your loved one’s situation.
- Withdrawal from family or friends.
Some older adults are more at risk of becoming victims of elder abuse. High-risk factors include:
- Age: adults over the age of 80 are abused more often.
- Caregiver: a live-in caregiver who depends on the elder for housing, food, or income may be more likely to commit elder abuse.q
- Gender: women are more often the target of elder abuse than men.
- Poor health: older adults with mental or physical ailments are twice as likely to be abused than healthier adults.
- Living alone: those elders who live alone without support, are much more likely to be victims of abuse.