Aging makes seniors susceptible to abuse. Older adults with dementia, vision or hearing issues, limited mobility, and other health concerns are more likely to experience neglect or mistreatment than their healthier counterparts. Here are five tips for preventing your senior loved one from experiencing elder abuse.
1. Recognize the Signs
When seniors are being mistreated, they usually display warning signs. Older adults who are abused may appear unclean or unkempt and show unusual signs of hunger. Bruises in the shape of finger indentations are often cause for concern. For example, if your loved one has finger-shaped marks around the wrist or elbow, it may mean someone grabbed his or her arm with too much force.
Caring for senior loved ones can be challenging for families who don’t have expertise or professional training in home care, but this challenge doesn’t have to be faced alone. Family caregivers can turn to Home Care Assistance for the help they need. We provide high-quality live-in and respite care as well as comprehensive Alzheimer’s, dementia, stroke, and Parkinson’s care.
2. Look for Behavioural Changes
Abused seniors often go through personality changes. They may lose interest in former passions and suddenly become shy and awkward. While some of these behavioural changes can be attributed to other causes, such as dementia, you need to trust your instincts. If something about your loved one’s behaviour feels wrong, there’s probably a reason.
3. Understand the Types of Elder Abuse
To prevent abuse from happening, it’s important to understand the types of elder abuse. Neglect is a common type of abuse, and neglected seniors often wear dirty, disheveled clothing or look malnourished.
Financial abuse is also a common method of mistreatment. In such instances, unreliable individuals take advantage of seniors and persuade them to make poor financial decisions. When searching for signs of financial abuse, look for irregular bank withdrawals or expenditures, new credit lines, or unpaid bills.
Some seniors are physically abused. Many actions fall under the category of physical abuse, ranging from physical violence to giving seniors excess doses of sleeping pills. Emotional abuse refers to verbal intimidation, disparaging remarks, and attempts to isolate seniors from their loved ones.
For many seniors in Victoria, BC, live-in care is an essential component of aging in place safely and comfortably. However, it’s important for them to have caregivers they can trust and rely on. At Home Care Assistance, we extensively screen all of our live-in and 24-hour caregivers and only hire those who have experience in the senior home care industry. Our strict requirements ensure seniors can remain in the comfort of home with a reduced risk of injury or serious illness.
4. Identify Abusers
In some instances, family members abuse their senior relatives. To recognize and end abuse, it’s important to acknowledge that people who seem loving and kind in public can be abusive behind closed doors. Make sure to place your loved one’s care in the hands of a trusted and compassionate individual, be it a family member or a professional caregiver.
5. Get Help
If you suspect your loved one is being abused, start by talking to a trusted friend or family member. Call the local hotline for reporting elder abuse. In Canada, the Long-Term Care ACTION Line handles complaints relating to abuse and mistreatment.
Hiring a professional caregiver is one of the best ways to keep your loved one safe from elder abuse while ensuring he or she receives high-quality in-home care. When searching for reliable Victoria elderly home care agencies, families want to know their senior loved ones will be well taken care of. At Home Care Assistance, our expertly trained caregivers are available around the clock to assist with tasks around the house, provide transportation to medical appointments and social events, and much more. Call us at (250) 592-4881 today to talk to one of our compassionate Care Managers about our premier home care services.