Elder abuse can happen anywhere. It may occur in an older adult’s home, assisted living facility or nursing home. If you have any suspicions that your older loved one may be suffering at the hands of his or her caretaker, the National Institute on Aging has signs to look for.
Elder abuse can include emotional or physical abuse and neglect.
Physical symptoms of abuse
Caregivers have an obligation to their patients to ensure they remain clean and taken care of. In some cases, your loved one may still handle his or her hygiene and appearance. An unkempt appearance with messy or unwashed hair and clothes may indicate neglect.
If your loved one wears glasses, they should always be on when needed. If he or she no longer has glasses or the frames break, it may be because of a physical altercation or punishment. In addition to glasses, your loved one should always have his or her medical aids. Bedsores occur when a patient cannot leave his or her bed. It can indicate a patient left in bed for long periods without care.
Emotional symptoms of abuse
A sudden change in your loved one’s behavior may indicate abuse or neglect. Visiting your senior family member should be an enjoyable experience for both of you. If you arrive and your loved one seems withdrawn or agitated for no reason, you may want to look deeper into it. After undergoing trauma, people may begin to rock back and forth or withdraw from activities they once loved.
You owe it to your loved one to investigate and report any signs of elder abuse.