Suspecting Elder Abuse
Logic and reasoning with elderly parents can be frustrating. Especially if you are not able to visit and witness their lifestyle.
If you suspect an elder has been threatened or victimized, reassure them that it is not their fault. Explain that you are concerned. Offer some assistance in getting help. Report your concerns to your local Senior Center. Or, the appropriate adult protective services agency.
Seniors who are being mistreated may be too ashamed or afraid to discuss their issues. They may be embarrassed. And, they may not want to get a relative in trouble. Additionally, there is a fear of retribution from their abuser. Complicating the issue, elders may believe that the abuser is their only source of care.
To identify elder abuse is sometimes a subtle, and difficult, investigation. If you think the person is in immediate danger, call 911 or your local police number to get help immediately.
An elder may also neglect their own safety and well-being. Self-neglect. This may be evidence of dementia, poor health or substance abuse. Situations of self-neglect should be reported so the individual can get help.
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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