It breaks our hearts to listen to stories on the news of vulnerable seniors who have endured mistreatment and abuse, and perhaps it seems like it’s something that happens to “somebody else” – certainly never to our very own senior loved ones. Nevertheless, nearly five million seniors within the United States are subjected to some sort of abuse annually – and, these types of incidents more often than not go unreported, according to The Elder Justice Roadmap report released by the U.S. Department of Justice together with Department of Health and Human Services.
The report also reveals that, sadly, elder care abuse most frequently happens at the hands of family members or close friends – an individual the senior knows and trusts. Whether the motive is monetary gain, stress, or another trigger, it’s essential for each one of us to recognize the signs of elder abuse and to do something to prevent it.
Elder Abuse Warning Signs
The National Center on Elder Abuse has put together a fact sheet to shed light on the signs of abuse or neglect in older adults. Abuse may be financial, emotional or physical. Keep an eye out for any of the following in your older loved ones, and document any suspected abuse without delay to your local Adult Protective Services agency. Contact information is listed by state at the National Adult Protective Services Association website.
- Unmet hygiene, nutritional, or hydration needs
- Untreated health problems
- Dangerous or unhealthy living conditions
- Unusual changes in behavior
- Isolation and/or lack of supervision by primary caregiver
- Bruises, fractures, cuts, burns, etc. without a satisfactory explanation
- Aggressive, demeaning, or controlling behavior shown by primary caregiver
Elder Abuse Prevention
The easiest way to help older adults remain safe from any abuse is by continuing to be aware, alert, and attentive. Check in with senior loved ones frequently, and have a system of support in place to make certain seniors have plenty of opportunity for socialization and stimulating activities, in order to avoid isolation – one of the main causes that enhances an older adult’s chances for abuse or neglect.
You may also proactively address the inherent reasons for elder care abuse. For instance, acknowledge if a family caregiver is suffering from undue stress, and come up with an alternate care plan for your senior loved one; and ensure there’s no monetary motivation in a family member’s wish to function as caregiver. Additionally, supply the older person with the knowledge and insight essential to identify possible abuse, and encourage him or her to tell you instantly of any cause for concern.
Among the best ways to make certain a senior loved one stays safe from elder care abuse is by partnering with Enhanced Home Care. All of our caregivers are subjected to careful criminal record checks and are also supplied with the oversight that guarantees older adults are safe from abuse. To learn more about how our top-rated caregivers in Kansas City provide families with peace of mind, reach out to us today at 913-327-0000.