Elder Abuse, pt. 2
How to identify, and prevent, elder abuse?
Gerontologists say that social isolation is a top risk factor for elder abuse. Covid restrictions, up until now, have curtailed many services that keep older adults connected to the world outside their homes. Economic insecurity has raised instances of financial abuse. And scammers have been out in full force. Scammers will take advantage of the fears of older adults to sell them useless treatments and cures. Or, and possibly worse, scare the elderly into divulging personal information that allows the crooks to access the elders’ bank accounts.
Everyone has a role to play in protecting older adults. Advocates seek to raise awareness of the problem among doctors, bank employees and law enforcement. The general public, too, is urged to be informed as to some warning signs:
— Unexplained bruises, broken bones, burns, cuts or scars
— Poor hygiene, dirty clothes, unusual weight loss, bedsores
— Withdrawal from normal activities and relationships
— Sudden change in an elder‘s financial situation
— Depression and signs of trauma.
— Belittling, threats or other power abuse by caregivers.
— Lack of appropriate medical care.
Seniors who are being mistreated may be too ashamed or afraid to talk about it. They may not want to get a relative in trouble. They may fear retribution from the abuser. And they may believe that the abuser is their only source of care.
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John D. Miller is the founder/owner of Home Care Partners, LLC, a Massachusetts business providing private duty, personalized in-home assistance and companion care services to those needing help in daily activities and household functions.
Phone: (781) 378-2164
Email: [email protected]