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5 Signs to identify Abuse in the Elderly

By brian barrick
April 02, 2013

There is a growing problem with abuse of the elderly in our nation. Abuse of the elderly occurs in group settings by caregivers, in residential settings by caregivers and family members. The abuse of the elderly can occur almost anywhere. It is important that you recognize these signs and take action to stop this abuse. Because of their frail physical condition and reduced mental capacity some in our society see the elderly as easy prey. Here are a few general signs that abuse might be taking place.

1. Unexplained cuts, bruises or injuries are a good signal that physical abuse is taking place. Look for things such as broken eyeglasses or bruising of the wrists. Another sign that might be taking place is a refusal of the caregiver to let you see or talk to the elderly alone.

2. Emotional abuse is also prevalent in the elderly. A good sign is shying away or a silence around a family member or a caregiver, this can go as far as signs of dementia where there were none previously.

3. Sexual abuse can also happen in the elderly. Look for bruising or bleeding in the genital area. Also venereal disease is a good sign that sexual abuse is taking place.

4. Abuse of the elderly can also include financial abuse. Look for unusual bank withdraws, a downward turn in living conditions such as no water or electricity or no food. Also be aware of changes in wills and insurance policies.

5. The elderly are also susceptible to healthcare fraud. Look for them being under or over medicated or under cared for when bills are paid in full.


This article only touches the tip of the elder abuse that goes on in our nation. Arm yourself with the knowledge of the signs and symptoms of abuse of the elderly. When suspected abuse is happening be sure to inform the proper authorities,

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