Elder abuse is unfortunately a common issue. Some people take advantage of older people and treat them horribly because they feel nobody will believe them if they report it.
To protect someone you love from abuse, you should understand the signs something is happening. The National Institute on Aging explains you should never write off signs because anyone is capable of abuse and it can happen anywhere. Abuse can be psychological, emotional, financial and physical.
Some signs of abuse are subtle. Your loved one may start looking unkempt or acting more confused. You may easily confuse these things as part of the normal aging process. However, if you seek medical care, the doctor will likely be able to help you rule out medical problems.
Your loved one may start acting differently or losing weight. You may notice injuries or damage to his or her belongings. Other signs might be money or personal items disappearing, violent behavior, a loss of interest in hobbies and unclean living conditions. If financial abuse is a concern, you may even notice collection actions or overdue bills.
If you notice signs of elder abuse, you should take action right away. Your loved one may be unwilling to tell you what is happening, but you have the right to ask questions. Confront caregivers, ask for someone to look into the situation and advocate for your loved one. Paying attention to the signs and standing up for your loved one’s rights is the best way you can protect him or her from elder abuse.