Approximately, 5 million older adults are abused, neglected, or exploited. It can happen to anyone including a family member, a neighbor, and even you. Only 1 in 5 of these crimes get reported. Since June is Elder Awareness Month, we aim to provide a better understanding of abuse and neglect by raising awareness on what it consists of.
Elder abuse can take place in a senior’s own home. The perpetrators can be the caretakers in an institution, scammers over the phone, via the computer or at their front door. Unfortunately, many cases of abuse result from family members and loved ones. Abuse comes in different forms and one of them is neglect. Neglect can occur when a senior is not fed, not kept clean or warm, not kept safe, and not given proper medical attention and care.
Abuse can be spotted around us. If there are changes in personality or behavior in the senior and a noticeable tension between the senior and the caregiver, then there is a risk of abuse. Types of abuses include physical, sexual, psychological, financial, and neglect. Here are the signs on how to spot them:
- Loss in weight can alarm of dehydration or malnutrition.
- Dirty clothes, broken eyeglasses, broken hearing aids, broken walkers, skin rashes, bedsores.
- Unexplained burns, cuts, bruises, and bleeding. Wounds of rope marks, bruising on wrists, or anywhere on the body.
- The person doesn’t want to see a doctor about his wounds.
- Acting withdrawn or frightened.
- Rock back and forth, suck, or mumble to themselves.
- Being depressed, confused, or lose interest in things they enjoyed.
- Legal documents that have been changed or disappeared.
- Missing financial statements.
- Unpaid bills, utilities that are shut off, or threats of eviction.
Try talking to the person in trouble. If the situation is urgent, call the 911. Contact Adult Protective Services in your state if the problem isn’t urgent and they will check on the report by visiting the home.
Not everyone who abuses will seem to be a bad person. They are instead overwhelmed with the pressures and responsibilities of taking care of someone who is unable to care of themselves. Nevertheless, our seniors need to be protected from such mistreatment.
If you have any comments, concerns, or questions, please reach out to us! Here at BlueStar, it is our goal to keep you and your loved ones Safe, Healthy, and Connected. We do this through senior technologies that are available on our site. If you have any questions, please contact a product specialist today at (800) 300-1724, option 1!