How to Decrease the Risk of Elder Abuse

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Elder abuse can take many forms, including physical, emotional, and financial. If you’re concerned about your senior loved one being abused, keep the following tips in mind to prevent it from happening.

 

Watch for Signs of Abuse

There are several signs you should watch for that could indicate potential abuse. Physical signs include bruises and other signs of trauma or unexplained injuries. Seniors who are being neglected might have unexplained weight loss, bedsores, or hygiene issues. Emotional signs of abuse include being socially withdrawn, acting confused, and showing signs of depression. Other signs of senior abuse include sudden reductions in a bank account balance or other financial changes.

 

Communicate on a Regular Basis

Make sure your loved one has someone to talk to on a regular basis. Stop by to see your loved one or call him or her each day. Visiting gives you a chance to see how your loved one is doing and look for any possible signs of abuse. Calling provides opportunities to ask about how your loved one is doing if you’re unable to see him or her in person.

If you aren’t always available to check in on your loved one, a professional home caregiver can give you peace of mind. In-home care experts are available to provide high-quality care to seniors on an as-needed basis. From assistance with mobility and exercise to providing transportation to the doctor’s office and social events, there are a variety of ways professional caregivers can help your aging loved one continue to live independently.

 

Encourage Social Activity

Being socially active can lower the risk of depression in seniors, which makes them less likely to be abused. Seniors who interact with others regularly know they have friends and family they can turn to if someone is abusing them. When seniors feel isolated or alone, they have a higher risk of feeling helpless if they’re being abused.

 

Reduce Caregiver Stress

Family caregivers who are under a lot of stress have a higher risk of inadvertently becoming abusive toward the senior family members under their care. Finding healthy and effective ways to manage caregiver stress can lower this risk. Some ideas for managing stress include setting aside time to unwind each day, going out with friends from time to time, and getting help with caregiving duties.

Caring for a senior loved one can be rewarding, but it can also be overwhelming for family caregivers who have other responsibilities they need to focus on. For these families, the perfect solution is respite care. Frederick families rely on our caregivers whenever they need time to rest, work, run errands, and even go on vacation. 

 

Warn Seniors about Scams

Scams that aim to steal money from unsuspecting seniors are another form of abuse. Warn your loved one about scams that can occur online, over the phone, or by mail. Make sure your parent knows he or she shouldn’t give out any personal or financial information online, on the phone, or through the mail. Encourage your loved one to ask you about any calls, emails, or mail he or she gets that seem suspicious.

 

Find Trustworthy Caregivers

Family caregivers who need help providing care for their loved ones should be careful about who they ask for assistance. When hiring professional caregivers, find ones who are kind, caring, patient, and compassionate. Caregivers should be thoroughly screened and have no history of abuse or violence. Finding the right professional caregiver to assist with caregiving duties may provide some peace of mind about the way your loved one is treated.

One of the most challenging tasks of helping an elderly relative age in place safely and comfortably is researching agencies that provide home care. Frederick families can turn to Assisting Hands Home Care for reliable, high-quality in-home care for aging adults. We offer 24-hour care for seniors who require extensive assistance, and we also offer respite care for family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties. To hire a dedicated caregiver, call Assisting Hands Home Care at (301) 786-5045 today.