Aging makes seniors susceptible to abuse. Older adults with dementia, vision or auditory 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 arms with too much force.
Caring for a senior loved one 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 Toronto 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 Behavioral 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 behavioral changes can be attributed to other causes, like dementia, you need to trust your instincts. If something about your loved one’s behavior 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 an excess dose of sleeping pills. Emotional abuse refers to verbal intimidation, disparaging remarks, and attempts to isolate seniors from their loved ones.
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. Toronto families rely on our caregivers whenever they need time to rest, work, run errands, and even go on vacation.
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 Toronto senior home care agencies, families want to know their senior loved one 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. To hire a professionally trained caregiver for your elderly loved one, call us at (416) 488-8777 today.