Elder abuse can be a serious concern throughout the year. It’s an unfortunate fact that family members often don’t detect its warning signs. This is especially true for those who reside in a different city or state.
Since the holidays usually bring families together, they provide a great opportunity to observe the situation. During this time, keep a watchful eye for anything that seems amiss.
Ask Questions and Look Around
The best thing that you can do is to pay attention when you visit your parent’s home. Not only should you look for signs that someone might be taking advantage of the situation, but also check to see if there is anything else that your family member needs.
- Physical Signs: Look for signs of physical abuse. This might be bruises, lacerations, tooth loss, scars, or broken bones. Even if there is an explanation for the injury, it’s important that you ask the right questions and learn more.
- Neglect: Are their clothes and bedding in good condition? If the person has bedsores or soiled clothing, then it could be an indication that they aren’t receiving the care that is needed.
- Withdrawal: Pay attention to the way the person interacts with the family. Withdrawal from conversations could be a red flag. At times, abuse happens when there is forced isolation, making it hard for the person to interact with family members. Also, watch for the way the senior interacts with the caregivers to determine if there is tension or strained relationships.
- Incoming Mail: A stack of unpaid bills could be a potential sign of financial abuse. Also look for signs of new credit cards or bank accounts.
In addition to the signs listed above, identify any areas in the home where the person might need assistance. For example, if the rooms are dirty, then you might hire a cleaning service to help once or twice a week.
Contact us anytime if you need more information about identifying the signs of elder abuse. Email info@SeniorSafeAndSound.org or call 858-480-7551. Senior Safe and Sound.
This information is intended to inform the public at large about this important issue. It is not intended to serve as legal advice.