How to protect your loved one from elderly abuse

by | Aug 21, 2023 | Caregiving, Laws & Regulations, Technology, Uncategorized, Wellness & Health

Elderly abuse is far more common than most people realize. It can happen in a nursing home, residential facility or even in their own home. As people get older, they become more fragile and weaker.

Their minds are not as sharp as they once were. People tend to take advantage of the decline in physical and mental faculties older adults have. They don’t have the ability to stand up for themselves – to fight against a person taking advantage of them or hurting them.

While the majority of elder abuse takes place in residential homes or institutions where they are hospitalized for a prolonged period of time, it can also happen in one’s own home with a caregiver.

How do you know if a loved one is being abused? Is it physical abuse or emotional abuse? Is it possibly both? What are the signs of abuse that you need to be aware of?

Physical elderly abuse

This is the use of force that causes physical pain and disability – pushing, scratching, pulling, biting, etc. Outward signs of physical abuse

Physical Abuse Example

A social worker working at a nursing home receives a report from the in-charge nurse about two residents with blood fluids on their hands and faces. The social worker starts to ask questions of the caregiver about the bruises who adamantly denies any wrongdoing. 

The caregiver provides an explanation that the residents have severe dementia and were being disruptive. They were trying to get out of their beds at night and being unruly.  The social worker refuses to buy into that theory. 

Based on the story and the evidence, she speaks with the department staff. Come to learn, the nursing administration learned that the caregiver was drunk at work and had hit the two residents on the face and hands after they failed to listen to her. 

A committee was put together and agreed to report the matter to police and the ministry of health where the nursing home is located. The police department investigated the claim including the caregiver, social worker and in-charge nurse. The caregiver was let go from her position and was sentenced to community service.

Emotional Elderly Abuse

Being a caregiver is among the most rewarding, and at the same time, stressful occupations in the world. These people put their heart and soul into ensuring the well-being of a senior. They do anything and everything they can to put their beloved elder’s comfort and happiness above their own. Caregivers’ stress and burnout is the unfortunately common side-effect of this job.

In the case of caregivers , the psychological impact and stress upon them is significantly more and can seriously hamper their own mental health.

If you are one of those kind and loving people who are suffering from caregivers stress and burnout, then today’s article is for you. Read on to find out how to prevent the ailment and bring happiness back into your lives.

This is the use of speech and attitude that leads to emotional pain and pressure – shouting, threats, isolation of family and friends, ridicule, ignoring them, etc. Some signs of emotional abuse .

Emotional Abuse Example

A social worker is talking with a client and notices that the client is closed off and upset. Concerned, the social worker asks what’s going on. At first, the client refuses to say anything and doesn’t feel like talking.

The social worker decides to sit with the client, quiet in the hopes that she’ll want to start talking. After some time, the client feels comfortable enough to explain their mood, saying her caregiver was yelling at her, saying she is too fat.

The client tells the social worker she was afraid of retaliation by the caregiver for telling someone about what happened.  The social worker talks with the caregiver who vehemently denies the action. The incident is reported to social welfare and the ministry of health.

Sexual Elderly Abuse

This is the act of having sexual intercourse against an older person’s will and can include forcing them to undress when they don’t want to, watching pornographic videos and images, forcing them to perform sexual acts, etc.

Economic Exploitation

This is the unauthorized use of a person’s property by the caregiver or other party. This includes stealing, falsify documents, extortion, robbery, etc, of a person’s financial situation that they become financially dependent on the caregiver themselves.