PSYCHOLOGY

Older People Rarely Can Protect Themselves. It Is Important To Know The Signs Of Elder Abuse To Be Able To Help Them

Date October 31, 2018

We become witnesses of hundreds of hidden crimes every day. Thousands of people cross our path, thousands of different faces, which we will probably neither see again nor be able to recall. Do you stop and try to help when you see a stray kitten? But what if you encounter an older adult that needs help even though they do not ask for it? Would you help?

It may be extremely hard for older to take care of themselves. Moreover, they often become victims of elder abuse done either by their family members or in the nursing home. Imagine you notice a bruised older woman sitting silently on the street and not asking for any money. Will you bother to wonder if she needs help? If so, this article will help you identify elder abuse that's happening around us.

Older People Rarely Can Protect Themselves. It Is Important To Know The Signs Of Elder Abuse To Be Able To Help Themmrmohock / Shutterstock.com

READ ALSO: It Should Never Happen To Anyone. Elder Abuse Isn't A Myth - It's A Terrifying Reality

One horrible case of nursing home abuse

If you think that the media exaggerates the problem of elder abuse in nursing homes, read the following story. The Younes family recorded the disgusting abuse of the 89-year-old Hussein Younes on a hidden cam. They managed to capture only two days of the horror show at Autumnwood Livonia, whereas the man had lived there for half a year.

Older People Rarely Can Protect Themselves. It Is Important To Know The Signs Of Elder Abuse To Be Able To Help ThemDaily Mail / YouTube

Younes was kicked, thrown, slapped, and yelled at. The family noticed multiple unexplained bruises and cuts on his body. The despicable horror depicted in the video footage illustrates the harsh reality we are living in. We believe such “caregivers” should be fired and jailed.

Signs of elder abuse

The Younes relatives were able to identify elder abuse thanks to different specific signs. Imagine how much longer the man would suffer from such horrendous abuse if the family members failed to recognize it. All of us need to know the signs of elder abuse to prevent similar situations from happening to our loved ones. Remember, elder abuse comes in different forms and happens not only in nursing homes.

READ ALSO: Wrong! A 35-Year-Old Nurse Caught On Camera Beating An 82-Year-Old With A Shoe In A Nursing Home

Signs of physical abuse in elderly

  • unexplained bruises, cuts, new scars, especially if the injuries are symmetrical and appear on both sides of the body;
  • unexplained broken bones, dislocations, and muscles strains;
  • broken eyeglasses, torn clothes;
  • rope marks on the body.

Older People Rarely Can Protect Themselves. It Is Important To Know The Signs Of Elder Abuse To Be Able To Help ThemBarbara Sauder / Shutterstock.com

Signs of emotional abuse in elderly

  • controlling or threatening behavior of the caregiver;
  • change in the elder’s behavior: depression, apathy, or mimicking symptoms of dementia, such as mumbling to themselves, rocking, and sucking.

Signs of neglect (or self-neglect) in elderly

  • signs of malnutrition and dehydration;
  • untreated bed sores;
  • unsanitary and unsafe living conditions;
  • extremely poor hygiene;
  • desertion of the elder at a public place.

Signs of financial abuse in elderly

  • significant, unreasonable withdrawals from the older adult’s accounts;
  • sudden change in the elder’s financial situation;
  • missing cash or items in the senior’s home;
  • sudden, suspicious changes in the documents, such as wills, power of attorney, etc.

Older People Rarely Can Protect Themselves. It Is Important To Know The Signs Of Elder Abuse To Be Able To Help ThemBerna Namoglu / Shutterstock.com

How to prevent elder abuse?

Anyone can make something to improve their older relatives’ lives. Though there are many potential causes of elder abuse, and, unfortunately, it is very hard to protect them from every possible threat, you can follow these recommendations to significantly reduce rates of elder abuse:

  1. Keep elders both physically and socially active. Isolation and a sedentary lifestyle can lead to different illnesses and self-neglect;
  2. Never lose touch with your elders. Even if you put your parent in a nursing home, try to take part in their life as much as possible;
  3. Never let elders live with someone who has a history of violence and abuse;
  4. Be aware of your elders’ communication circle. Some people may manipulate them to get money or even some property;
  5. Make sure the elders are informed about possible scams via e-mail, internet, or phone.

Older People Rarely Can Protect Themselves. It Is Important To Know The Signs Of Elder Abuse To Be Able To Help ThemAsier Romero / Shutterstock.com

If you feel that you cannot handle taking care of your elders alone, look for trusted people to provide additional help or other options, including nursing homes or assisted-living facilities. When you are overburdened, you have more chances to become a perpetrator of elder abuse yourself. You can also consider a support group or solo therapy to help you coop with caring for your loved ones. You should never put your health at risk. Remember, there are people who can help you and your loved ones.

READ ALSO: Why Weren't They Shut Down? Nursing Home Exposed After Caregivers Were Secretly Filmed Abusing A 92-Year-Old Dementia Patient