It’s a sad truth that elderly individuals are abused by relatives, caretakers, and strangers—in and outside of their home. This abuse often goes unnoticed or unreported. According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, it is estimated that one to two million Americans over the age of sixty-five have been subject to some form of abuse or neglect. Unfortunately, many victims are unable or too afraid to report these crimes, which is why the NCEA estimates that for every one elder abuse case reported, five go unreported. These startling statistics make it clear why Long Beach homecare services are so important if family members are unable to provide the necessary care for their elderly loved ones.
What is Elder Abuse?
As people age they can become physically, emotionally, and cognitively frail. Because of this they are often unable to stand-up for themselves or fight back. Since they are unable to hear or see clearly, they may be taken advantage of without even noticing. Elder abuse can occur anywhere an elderly individual lives, including their own home.
- Types of Elder Abuse
- Elder abuse takes many forms. According to the NCEA, the most common types of elder abuse include:
- Abandonment or neglect
- Financial exploitation
- Healthcare abuse or fraud
Signs of Elder Abuse
Signs of elder abuse are often misconstrued for signs of dementia or an elderly person’s frailty—especially if an at-fault caregiver explains them this way. Therefore, it is important for loved ones to recognize the signs of abuse and respond to them accordingly. A Long Beach homecare service can help pay attention to the warning signs of elder abuse and prevent it from happening in the first place:
Physical: Unexplained injuries, broken bones, drug overdoses, and signs of restraint.
Emotional: Behavior that mimics dementia, such as mumbling or rocking, as well as being unwilling to discuss how they’re feeling and being treated.
Sexual: Bruises, unexplained bleeding, and torn or bloody clothing.
Neglect: Unusual weight loss, dehydration, malnutrition, bed sores, unsanitary living quarters, being unbathed or dirty, unsuitable clothing, and unsafe living conditions.
Financial Exploitation: Significant monetary withdrawals from bank accounts, sudden changes in financial condition, cash or items missing from personal property, changes in power of attorney/wills/titles/insurance policies, and unpaid medical bills.
Fraud: Duplicate billings, inadequate care, overmedication or under medication, and issues with medical care facilities.
Hire a Reputable Long Beach Homecare Service
Hiring a reputable homecare service is a tried and true way to prevent elder abuse. Nonprofessional caregivers, such as children or relatives of the individual, often are inadequately trained to care for their loved one. The responsibilities and demands can lead to feelings of aggression or neglect—especially as the individual’s physical and mental health deteriorates. By hiring a Long Beach homecare service that provides extensive training for homecare workers, conducts background checks, and uses quality control measures, families can help protect the physical, emotional, and mental well-being of their elderly loved ones.
If elder abuse is ever suspected, it is imperative that loved ones report suspicions to physicians or the police. Friends and family members can help prevent elder abuse by listening to their loved ones and watching the actions of their caregivers. Even when using a reputable homecare service, families should constantly be on the lookout for the warning signs of abuse or neglect. If abuse is suspected, intervention should occur immediately.
Learn more about preventing elder abuse of your loved one and providing them with the Long Beach homecare services they need by calling 877.422.2270.