Every year in the US more than half a million reports of elder abuse reach authorities and a million more go unreported. Abuse of the elderly can happen anywhere from their own homes, to relative’s homes, to healthcare facilities. There are many different types of abuse including physical and emotional abuse, to neglect, to exploitation. Below are some signs of abuse that should serve as “red flags” to anyone who cares for someone else. .
1. Unexplained injuries or bruising, broken eyeglasses, broken bones and joint dislocations.
2. Reports of drug overuse or signs of drug underuse/not being given by a caregiver.
3. Caregiver’s refusal to allow you to visit your loved one alone
4. Any signs of threatening, belittling, or controlling behavior from a caregiver
5. Signs of sexual abuse may be bruising around breast or genitals, unexplained venereal disease, genital infections or bleeding.
6. Sudden weight loss, malnutrition, dehydration, or wanting to sleep most of the time
7. Unsanitary living conditions or signs they are not bathing/washing hair regularly.
8. Unplanned financial withdrawals from a bank or institutional account. These may be a significant single withdrawal, or several smaller withdrawals over time.
9. Sudden changes in their financial condition, including changes in wills, power of attorney, titles, and insurance policies.
10. Duplicate charges for the same service or device, or down payments for services never rendered.
If you identify any of these warning signs or symptoms, you should take immediate action and report the abuse to the State Abuse Hotline right away. Our rule at ACM Care is: if your gut is telling you “something”—then it is “something” to report and let the officials investigate.