According to the Statistic Brain Research Institute, approximately 9.5 percent of the elderly population experiences some type of abuse each year. Of course, many cases go unreported for a variety of reasons, which means this number may be significantly higher. Family caregivers in Anchorage who are concerned about their senior loved ones being abused should watch for these potential warning signs.
Seniors, especially those who have physical or cognitive impairments, are particularly vulnerable to physical abuse from those who are close to them. The elderly may lack the ability to defend themselves, may not recognize the behavior as abusive, and may be reluctant to say anything out of a sense of embarrassment. When questioned, the senior may give explanations that don’t seem to fit the injury. Signs of possible physical abuse include bruises, pressure marks, burns, and broken bones.
This type of abuse is often the most difficult to identify. It can include insults, aggressive verbal attacks, and even threats of physical violence and isolation. Indicators of potential emotional abuse include unusual behavior like rocking for self-comfort or biting as a means of self-defense, noticeable tension between the senior and the abuser, increased withdrawal, and forced isolation.
Neglect can occur when a senior is not given the assistance he or she needs to perform daily tasks such as bathing, dressing, and eating. In some cases, the neglect may be intentional. More often, it occurs when those close to the senior become overwhelmed or simply don’t know how to provide Anchorage home care for their loved one. Typical signs of neglect in the elderly include being constantly dirty and unkempt, unusual weight loss, frequent bedsores, and a lack of necessary medical equipment like glasses or canes.
In some cases, family members or others close to a senior may seek to take advantage of the senior’s financial situation. Many times the person is in a position of trust and the senior has no idea he or she has been victimized. Some indicators of possible financial exploitation include unusual withdrawals of cash, increased credit card use, adding new people to financial accounts, and unpaid bills.
Keeping seniors safe, comfortable, and happy is a top priority at Home Care Assistance. The part-time and 24-hour caregivers in Anchorage we provide can monitor your loved one and watch for and report any potential signs of abuse. Our caregivers are trusted, reliable, compassionate, and expertly trained to help with many tasks that can promote your loved one’s quality of life. For more information on our senior care services, call one of our Care Managers at (907) 770-0907 to schedule a free in-home consultation.