Home > Elder Care Guide

Common Signs of Elderly Abuse and Mistreatment

Abuse of the elderly is a very serious issue, and one that is very hard to recognize. Countless crimes against the elderly are committed and never known either because the abused have some form of mental illness such as Dementia, or are afraid to come forth in fear of retaliation of some nature by the perpetrator.

In order to help recognize when elder abuse and neglect is occurring, it helps to know the signs to be aware of. For certain seniors, it is necessary to be mindful that there are those who wish to take advantage of them, and they themselves may not be able to defend themselves. So it is the duty of their loved ones to keep a watchful eye over them.  In order to keep this watch, we must know what to look for.

If an elderly person says they are being harmed, it’s important to take this seriously and investigate. It may be thought that the victim may not be thinking properly, but a call for help is just that. It should never be assumed they are calling wolf.  

If all of a sudden, a senior seems depressed or withdrawn, this may be a sign that some form of senior abuse is occurring. Certain signs of depression are not taking care of themselves properly when they are capable, staying indoors constantly, inability to sleep or not sleep well, and even not wanting to dress themselves.

When an elderly person is not accepting of invitations to spend time with family or caregivers. This can be the result of two things, one is that they do not care to spend time with certain family members because they are the perpetrators themselves, or they are too depressed to visit. It must be assumed that an elderly person wants to see their family. Its hard to imagine a person not wanting to see their grandchildren unless there is good reason not to.

When secrets are being kept, this can be an indicator that something is wrong. Especially when secrets are being kept about a caregiver. Nursing home malpractice is hard to recognize as most of the interactions are between the elderly and the caregiver. No one else knows what is going on when they are alone, and if the abused cannot step forward or are afraid to, usually the mistreatment continues.

One common form of elder mistreatment is in the realm of financial abuse. If a senior for no good reason all of a sudden has a lack of spending money, this may be a sign that they have been taken advantage of. It may be hard to get this information out of a senior due to potential embarrassment or fear that whatever deal they had made may be lost.

An accident should be just that, and accidents do not occur all the time. If a senior has been having a peculiar number of accidents, it may be a sign that elder abuse is occurring. This is especially so if the reasons for these accidents are strange, unlikely, or was never a problem in the past.

If a senior attempts to run away or leave their place of residence, this can be an important indicator that elderly abuse is occurring.  There is no reason for a grown person to run away from their own home, unless there is something specific to run from.

All of these potential signs are possible indicators that abuse, neglect, or mistreatment is occurring and do prove that they actually are. The fact that there are signs should simply raise some awareness and indicate that it may need to be looked into.

If you or a loved one has been involved in elder abuse and neglect, you should also seek an elder abuse attorney to represent you. An elder abuse lawyer can help walk you through what legal options are available and which course of action should be taken.

More to Read: