Protecting Aging Loved Ones from Elder Abuse

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Elder Abuse: How You Can Help an Aging Loved One

By Ted Holmgren, 9:19 pm on March 7, 2014

Elder abuse is unfortunately a common problem, affecting thousands of seniors across the United States each day. As a trusted provider of home care in Scottsdale, we wanted to take the time to explain to families what elder abuse is and what can be done to protect the elders in your life.

Defining Elder Abuse

Elder abuse is a negligent or intentional act that causes serious harm to a senior adult. Most victims are considered frail, vulnerable and dependent on others for their care, and they are unable to fend off the abusers. The abuse can take on many forms such as neglect, financial abuse, sexual abuse, physical violence, emotional anguish and abandonment.

Protecting Your Loved Ones

While there are laws in place to prevent elder abuse, families can take a proactive approach to ensure that their loved ones are safe from fraudulent activity. You can begin by staying alert to the tell-tale signs that your loved one is being abused. Bruises abrasions and burns can indicate neglect or physical trauma. A sudden change in their personality and withdrawing from normal activities can also be caused by emotional abuse or intimidation. Infections, inner thigh bruising and difficulty sitting can be signs of sexual abuse.

While it may be difficult to approach a conversation about elder abuse with your loved one, it is one that is necessary and can go a long way in ensuring their quality of life and future happiness. Advise that they do not speak to anyone they don’t know and be sure to check in on them regularly whether by phone or in person if possible. By having open and honest conversations, they will be more likely to tell you when something is wrong or when they suspect a problem.

Technology has also made it easy to ensure a loved one is safe at home when you are unable to be there. Devices like home security systems and emergency alert pendants can be used to make sure no suspicious activity is taking place and that help can be contacted quickly in the case of an emergency. You can also consider hiring a part-time caregiver, a trained and compassionate individual who will be able to provide routine check-ins and can also ensure safety during visits. If your loved one may need additional assistance, overnight and live-in caregivers in Scottsdale are other options that provide careful and reliable around the clock monitoring.

Theft is another form of elder abuse common among the older population. While you want your aging loved one to maintain their independence for as long as possible, seniors can often become vulnerable to over the phone and door to door scams. Explain that they should never give out their personal information to someone they do not know, most importantly their social security or credit card information. You can offer to help by monitor their bank accounts and credit cards, keeping a look out for suspicious behavior.

Think your parent needs help around the house? Whether help is needed with organizing payments and light housekeeping or with medication reminders and transportation, Home Care Assistance of Scottsdale is here to help. Contact us at 480-448-6215 and learn about our in-home care services which include specialty home care for Alzheimer’s, dementia, Parkinson’s and stroke.