The holidays are a common time to welcome elderly family members to our home for the holidays, but it is also a good time to look for potential signs of elder abuse. The unfortunate truth is that 1 in 10 elderly Americans is abused or neglected according to the National Center on Elder Abuse. Often, this mistreatment is a result of self-abuse or abuse by a family member or friend. Look for these signs to determine whether or not your loved one is safe.
1. Is your loved one receiving the appropriate amount of care?
First, you must determine the necessary level of care for your loved one. Do they need help with chores but manage to bathe and cook safely? Do they need help shopping and picking up prescriptions? Do they require assistance remembering medications or with driving? Asking questions can help you decide if these needs are fulfilled.
2. Is your loved one isolated?
Not getting enough socialization can be dangerous, especially if your loved one depends very much on one specific person for care. Isolation means that if abuse does occur, your loved one feels as if there is nobody to turn to.
3. Is there suddenly a new person in your loved one's life?
New friends are great for elderly individuals; however, a new friend who has taken the giant leap to suddenly caring for all your loved one's needs could be a red flag. This is especially the case if you witness signs of drug or alcohol abuse, anger, instability and financial independence.
4. Is your loved one suddenly spending more money than usual?
Perhaps you are being asked to provide more money, or maybe you just notice that your loved one doesn't have as much as they used to. If your loved one suddenly does not have the means to make ends meet, it may be worth looking into where money seems to be going.
The Possibility of Self-Neglect
Of course, a third party is not always at fault for neglect or harm. Self-neglect does exist, and it often occurs when an individual is too depressed or ill to act independently. Perhaps your loved one struggles to remember medications or simply can't remember which bills have not been paid. The solution in either case is to turn to a senior home care professional who can ensure that your loved one is in good hands, putting abuse by one's self and others to an end.Share
13 July 2015
In the past, when I thought about home health care, I pictured an elderly man or woman stuck in bed just waiting to take his or her final breath. What I have recently learned is that there are people of all ages that can benefit from home health care specialists. When my niece was diagnosed with a rare liver disorder, our family rallied and did everything possible to make the new way of life as easy for my sister as possible. We spent hours over at her house helping with the baby, but then, my sister said she didn't need us as much --She had hired a home care aid. I hope this helps you in the future.