Senior Safety: 5 Signs of Elder Abuse

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Elder abuse is rarely talked about because it is often hard to detect. Yet, the effects of abuse on an elderly adult can be just as severe as they are for children and animals. While most family members and in-home caregivers have a senior’s best interests in mind, it is important to know the warning signs of abuse so you can intervene and protect an aging loved one if necessary.

1. Paranoid Behavior

When an elderly person is being abused by someone they thought they could trust, they may find it hard to believe or trust others around them. For example, your aging parent may suddenly begin to guard his or her pocketbook. While many people may chalk things like this up to dementia or memory loss, sudden paranoid behavior is worth looking into.

2. Rudeness or Anger

According to leading senior care agencies in North Houston, it is also common for a person who is being abused to adopt the same habits as their abuser. They may suddenly begin using foul language, or they may express anger over minor incidences. So if your mild-tempered loved one suddenly starts having angry outbursts, there could be a reason for the sudden aggressive behavior.

3. Physical Changes

Elder abuse can involve neglect and actual physical contact that may leave visible marks on a senior adult. Unexplained bruises, abrasions, or broken bones should always be investigated if there is no obvious cause. A senior who is being neglected may also experience rapid weight loss or malnutrition. Skin rashes and bedsores are few more physical signs of abuse you may notice.

4. Secrecy

Just as abused children may cover up for their parents, a senior who is being abused may try to protect their abuser. This is can be due to fear if the senior has been threatened to keep quiet, or they may truly love their abuser such as when it is a close family member. However, the cover up is often thinly veiled, and you may be able to see through lies regarding how an injury occurred or what happened to a senior’s money.

5. Increased Contact with One Person

When someone targets an elderly person, they may suddenly show up a lot more. This is common with a long lost family member who never comes around, yet they are suddenly at grandma’s house every day. While it is possible that the person is simply trying to be helpful, any of the other signs of abuse combined with sudden prolonged contact should be a red flag. Often, one of the biggest signs of abuse is an uneasy gut feeling about the situation.

Choosing an in-home care provider can be challenging. At Home Care Assistance, we perform extensive background checks, provide comprehensive training, and make sure every caregiver is bonded and insured to protect the client. For more information about our care services, including dementia and Alzheimer’s care in North Houston, give us a call at 832-412-1345 and schedule a free in-home consultation today.