Elder abuse is more likely to happen to seniors whose relatives live far away and can’t see them regularly. However, you might not know someone is abusing your elderly relative until the problem has reached serious levels. Following these six tips for checking for abuse helps you know your loved one is being treated well by the people near him or her.
1. Arrange for a Video Chat
If your loved one is technologically savvy, you can set him or her up for video calls on a phone or computer. Seeing your loved one’s appearance on the video can tell you a lot about how he or she is doing. If you notice your loved one seems tired, ill, or withdrawn, you may need to do some further investigation to make sure he or she is okay.
2. Schedule Professional In-Person Visits
Some seniors dislike using video calls to communicate. You might have also noticed something concerning during a chat with your loved one. If you can’t drop in yourself, a professional home caregiver is an excellent substitute for a family member. Caregivers are trained to spot and report elder abuse. If your loved one’s caregiver notices something wrong, he or she will let you know right away.
There are a variety of reasons family caregivers should consider respite care. El Dorado County, CA, families often have additional responsibilities that make it more challenging to provide the care their senior loved ones need and deserve. A professional respite caregiver can take over your important caregiving duties, allowing you more time to focus on yourself.
3. Check Out Your Loved One’s Financial Accounts
Financial abuse is common among the elderly. Most often, someone befriends a lonely senior and convinces the senior to give him or her money. Your loved one could also be targeted by a fraudster. You can check your loved one’s accounts online if he or she provides you with access. You may also need to watch for signs of money problems, such as finding out your loved one’s water or electricity services have been turned off.
4. Ask about Your Parent’s Social Life
Isolated seniors are more likely to be abused. While you want to hear your loved one is having an active social life, you should also be wary if he or she mentions a new friend who has taken a sudden interest in your parent. Seniors are sometimes the targets of financial scams, so check into anyone your loved one says he or she suddenly met online. This is especially important if the person seems like an unlikely match. Things such as being much younger or from a different location may suggest the person has less than honorable intentions.
5. Be Wary of Sudden Injuries or Malnutrition
A senior who is being physically abused may be too afraid to speak out. Seniors are sometimes forced to skip meals if they’re losing money to a financial abuser. Your loved one may also be vulnerable to physical abuse that leaves bruises or marks on his or her body. Neglect from an incompetent caregiver could cause your loved one to develop bed sores and skin rashes.
Families shouldn’t have to worry about finding reliable elderly home care. El Dorado County Home Care Assistance is a leading provider of elderly home care. We offer a proprietary program called the Balanced Care Method, which uses holistic methods to promote senior health, our caregivers and Care Managers are available 24/7, and all of our in-home care services are backed with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
6. Watch for Signs of Depression
Seniors who are being abused may only show emotional signs of the turmoil they face each day. In addition to being depressed, your loved one may mention he or she is afraid of someone or fearful about an upcoming visit. Secretive behavior is another red flag. Always follow up on any strange behavioral changes your loved one demonstrates to make sure he or she isn’t being abused.
One of the best ways to prevent elder abuse is to hire a trustworthy, compassionate home caregiver. Though you may be researching multiple agencies that provide in-home care, Home Care Assistance has much to offer your family and your elderly loved one. We are leaders in the senior home care industry, offering proprietary programs like our holistic Balanced Care Method and around-the-clock assistance from reliable, experienced caregivers. Trust Home Care Assistance to help your loved one enjoy a happier and healthier life in the golden years. Call us today at (916) 358-3801 or (530) 409-4411 to discuss how we can give you the peace of mind that comes from knowing your loved one is being cared for with professionalism and compassion.