Elder abuse happens to 1 in 10 seniors. Help spot the signs of elder abuse and protect your loved one.
Top Tips to Protect Aging Adults from Elder Abuse and Financial Predators
As individuals age and have less mobility and independence, they are more susceptible to elder abuse and becoming a victim of financial predators.
Elder abuse can include: physical, sexual and emotional abuse, exploitation, neglect and abandonment. Predators can include staff at nursing home or caretaking facilities, children, spouses, family members or even strangers.
Protect your loved one! Look for the warning signs of elder abuse:
- Physical: bruises, burns, abrasions, broken bones, pressure marks.
- Emotional: unexplained or unusual depression, withdrawal from normal activities, change in alertness, strained relationships. Arguments between caregiver and adult.
- Neglect: poor hygiene, sudden weight loss, bedsores and other unattended medical needs.
- Verbal or emotional abuse: Overhearing or witnessing threats, demeaning comments or power struggles between older adult and caretaker or another individual.
Financial Abuse and Financial Predators
Very few cases of financial abuse are actually reported. It can be heartbreaking for an older individual to work hard their entire life, only to be preyed upon by a stranger or loved one.
7 warning signs that may indicate a senior is a victim of financial abuse:
- Bills are going past due or unpaid even though the individual has the resources to pay them.
- Items or services are being purchased that the older adult doesn’t have a use for such as gym memberships or new technology.
- Items are purchased at a time when senior wouldn’t be active on the account such as ATM withdraws late at night.
- Money or valuable items are missing from the adult’s home.
- Sudden changes are made to power of attorney, property titles or wills.
- Adult is receiving care at a rate much lower than the quality he/ she can afford.
- Adult is isolated from family or is afraid to speak in front of family members, caregivers or friends.
If you see any of these signs, report the abuse to proper authorities so they can investigate further.
Seniors who have been abused in some form have a 300% higher risk of death compared to individuals who have not been mistreated. Abuse can also cause depression, isolation and withdraw from normal activities. Watch for the warning signs to protect your loved one.
Home Care Tip:
When you partner with a home care agency, the caregiver, office staff, and office owner have a fresh set of eyes to detect the early signs of elder abuse. If you’re an adult child who is living in a different city or state, having the peace of mind from a home care agency to not only provide the care but to provide a set of eyes to spot elder and financial abuse can be an added peace of mind.
Harmony is founded with a single focus in mind: providing compassionate home care and home healthcare to the residents of Southwestern Pennsylvania.
Our trustworthy caregivers are ready to lend a helping hand to your mother, father, children, and loved ones in Cambria County, Indiana County, Armstrong County, and many more locations throughout the region. Contact us and one of our patient advocates will be happy to discuss how Harmony's programs can help your family today.