Caregiver services in Chicago care for your elderly, and they ensure that your parents are properly cared for. But there are others that may be maltreating your elder parents. Elderly abuse is a common occurrence, more often than you would think. If you suspect that an elderly person is being abused, neglected, or preyed upon, it’s very important to speak up. Learn about warning signs of elderly abuse and how to report them.
WHAT IS ELDERLY ABUSE?
As our parents grow old, their bodies become more frail and vulnerable. They are often dependent on others to help them in meeting their basic needs, like food, cleaning, and taking care of their bodies. Unfortunately, there still exists in the world people that exploit the vulnerable elders through bullying or physical abuse. Elders are less able to stand up for themselves when they are being attacked. Elderly abuse can both be a single act or a repeated inappropriate action, that most often occur in trusting relationships.
SIGNS OF ABUSE
Abuse may be in the form of physical, verbal, or sexual. Abuse can also be in the form of neglect or financial exploitation. Physical signs of abuse include bruises and broken bones, burns, abrasions, and pressure marks. The elderly will most likely give you some form of odd explanation for these physical injuries to cover the abuse. Neglect can be seen in the form of dirty clothes, sometimes bedsores, or unusual weight loss. Verbal or emotional abuse may be noticed in the form of withdrawal and apathy, or display of incredibly unusual behaviour such as biting or rocking themselves. The elderly may also be exhibiting nervousness or some form of fearfulness. Signs of financial exploitation include instances where bills are neglected, money seems to be disappearing, or unusual purchases. Sexual abuse is considered to be contact with an elderly person without their consent, the contact being in the form of physical sexual activities. Forcing the elderly to watch pornographic material or sexual acts as well as forcing them to undress are also considered sexual abuse.
HOW TO PREVENT ABUSE FROM HAPPENING
Prevention is always key in order to avoid any unfortunate incidences. Preventing elderly abuse by speaking kindly to your elders, hearing their stories, as well as looking out for signs can greatly help the elderly from being a victim of abuse. If you have the slightest inclination that an elder may be abused, report it immediately. A small hunch can lead to an investigation that can greatly help the elderly. This will also empower other elderly persons with similar experiences to speak up and stop being a victim.
If you’re part of caregiver services in Chicago or are in a position that you find abuse being done in any way, most especially for the elderly, please do not hesitate to call 911 and report it immediately. Reach out to somebody that will provide immediately take action and help. Remember that your position as a witness is a very powerful tool to help victims of abuse.