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How to Reduce the Likelihood of Elder Abuse

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Elder abuse can take many forms. It can be physical, emotional, or even financial. To reduce the risk of elder abuse, family members should learn to recognize the symptoms of mistreatment and take measures to prevent it from happening. Here are a few tips on reducing the likelihood of elder abuse.

Don’t Overburden Yourself

Family caregivers don’t abuse their loved ones on purpose. However, the burden of the job can become overwhelming, and some caregivers become angry or frustrated with their loved ones. When this becomes a pattern of behavior, it can turn into emotional abuse. If you find yourself lashing out at your loved one too frequently, you may need some help. Going to therapy, attending support groups, and talking with friends and family can help you achieve a healthier frame of mind. You can also hire in-home respite caregivers to take some time off. 

In Scottsdale, AZ, respite care is a great help to many families. Caring for a senior loved one can be overwhelming at times, which puts family caregivers at risk for burnout. However, an in-home caregiver can take over your loved one’s care, allowing you the time you need to focus on your own health, maintain a full-time job, or care for other members of your family.

Be Vigilant

While in-home respite care gives you and your loved one a chance to spend some time apart, you should be vigilant about the caregivers you hire. Abuse and neglect aren’t always intentional. Sometimes they’re a result of poor training. Make sure the caregiver you hire to assist your loved one is fully qualified and comes highly recommended by previous employers. 

Know the Signs

There are certain signs that suggest a senior is being abused or mistreated. Signs of neglect include poor hygiene, unsanitary living conditions, and malnourishment. When seniors are being psychologically or emotionally abused, they may fidget or hesitate when speaking. Seniors who experience abuse may also exhibit signs of fear or anxiety and withdraw from society. Psychological and emotional abuse can cause changes in behavioral patterns, affecting a senior’s sleep schedule and appetite. When seniors are being physically abused, the signs are often visible. If your loved one has bruises in the shape of fingers, there is cause for concern. Be on the lookout for these signs, and act with compassion if you suspect your loved one is being abused. 

Hiring a professionally trained caregiver is one of the best ways to reduce your senior loved one’s risk of elder abuse and ensure he or she receives high-quality in-home care. Families looking to hire a Scottsdale caregiver can reach out to Home Care Assistance. All of our hourly and live-in caregivers receive extensive ongoing training to ensure they provide the high-quality in-home care seniors need and deserve.

Help Your Loved One Maintain a Social Network

One of the biggest risk factors for elder abuse is social isolation. Seniors who spend most of their time alone are susceptible to abuse. To combat this risk factor, make sure your loved one always has someone to turn to. Get your loved one involved in community programs for seniors, take him or her to church on the weekends, or provide transportation to the nearby coffee shop when he or she wants to meet with friends. Make sure your loved one feels supported in the event of a crisis.

Physical, mental, and emotional abuse are just a few of the many issues older adults may face. Seniors can face a variety of challenges as they age, many of which can be mitigated with the help of professional in-home caregivers who provide high-quality elderly care. Scottsdale families trust in Home Care Assistance to help their elderly loved ones age in place safely and comfortably. To hire a professional in-home care expert for your senior loved one, call us at 480.448.6215 today.