The elderly are common victims of abuse. This abuse can occur in a variety of settings and in different ways.
If you have a loved one who lives in an assisted type of living environment or lives home alone, it is a good idea to be on the lookout for signs of abuse so you can intervene, if necessary.
Types of abuse
The National Institute on Aging discusses that there are varying types of abuse. These include financial, physical, sexual, emotional, abandonment and neglect. Any of these can occur in the elderly’s home, at a facility or in a relative’s home. Abusers may include caretakers, strangers, relatives, staff or other elderly people.
Signs of abuse
Signs of financial abuse include changes in a loved one’s spending, changes in bank accounts or gifts to strangers. Signs of sexual or emotional abuse may include isolation of the loved one, withdrawal tendencies, depression or confusion. Signs of neglect or abandonment may include dehydration, undermedicated, malnourished or unclean.
Signs of physical abuse are sometimes easier to spot than some other types of abuse. Signs to look out for include scars, burns or bruises. The Mayo Clinic states that bed sores are a common physical sign of neglect. These occur when someone spends lots of time in the same position in a chair or bed without adequate or frequent position changes. Signs of bedsores include:
- Changes in skin texture or color
- Tender areas of the skin that feel warmer or cooler than other areas
- Pus-like drainage
Common locations for bedsores are the back of the knees, spine, shoulder blades, backs of legs or arms, tailbone, ankles, heels and back of the head. Untreated bedsores can lead to infection of the tissues and even underlying bone.