The U.S. Administration on Aging’s National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) is constantly raising public awareness to elder abuse and negligence. The organization has partnered with the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to create tools and tips to recognize signs of elder abuse. The following covers the major warning signs recommended by each organization.
Symptoms and Signs of Elder Neglect
When your family member or friend has bruises, abrasions, cuts or similar injuries that they cannot explain; you should investigate if they are victims of abuse. It is harder for elders to protect themselves as they grow physically weaker. Additionally, if an elder has problems speaking or hearing, they are more likely to be verbally abused by unloving caretakers. Often elder in these situations feel powerless and misunderstood. They rarely report any of the harm they are experiencing due to elder neglect.
Prevention Tip: Talk with your elderly family member alone and ask them about any injuries. Communicate with several members of staff if you find anything suspicious. In a life-threatening situation call the police.
Bullying, intimidation, isolation, humiliation, name-calling and sexual abuse are noted physical and emotional abuses common to elders. Victims sometimes are losing some of their mental capabilities, thereby, making it difficult for them to understand their situation. These crimes can cause deep emotional scares to your elderly family members.
Prevention Tip: Communicate regularly with elder family. Emotional pains often result in excessive crying or drastic changes in behavior. Be alert to changes and investigate their cause.