We all want the very best for our senior citizens. We try to find the best accommodations, best staff, best services, and best commodities for them. Right?
Unfortunately, not everyone regards our elder population with high esteem. There are some very disturbed individuals who prey on seniors. They see them as weak or feeble, they assume they will be too embarrassed or afraid to speak up, and they believe that their loved ones will be too busy or too short on resources to notice the abuse or take action to stop it.
These people can be found anywhere in our community and just like predators who victimize children they know exactly how to weasel themselves into the perfect positions to have access to their victims. Many of them have managed to find work in nursing homes, home health care companies, and retirement communities. They may work at adult daycares or senior centers. Even scarier, they might be a member of the senior’s own family.
The abuse that seniors suffer includes:
1. Physical abuse: They are being physically mistreated and hurt. This can also include having food, water, and medications withheld from them.
2. Financial abuse: The funds that they need to live a dignified life are being withheld or misused, even if it’s their own money.
3. Verbal abuse: They are being called names, told horrible things, and possibly even threatened.
4. Mental/Emotional abuse: This is when the perpetrator is intentionally making the victim feel afraid, isolated, and intimidated.
5. Sexual abuse: They are being sexually harassed, molested, or raped by the perpetrator.
Warning Signs of Physical Abuse:
1. Unexplained or poorly explained injuries
2. Cuts or scrapes in odd places or frequently
4. Head injuries or concussions
5. Pressure marks or sores
Warning Signs of Emotional/Mental Abuse:
1. Inability to speak freely
2. Seeming to isolate or withdraw from others
3. Inability to explain injuries
4. Suffering from anxiety, depression, anger, or fear
Warning Signs of Financial Abuse:
1. Missing money from bank accounts
2. Not being allowed/able to check their financial accounts
3. They offer to pay or give gifts for companionship (not professional)
4. Weird financial transactions
Warning Signs of Sexual Abuse:
2. Bruises on thighs or genitals
3. Bleeding, pain, or irritation in the genitals or discomfort use the bathroom
4. Inappropriate relationships between caregiver and elder
If you think you or a loved one is being abused, find help. Remove yourself/your loved one from the situation. Tell someone you trust. Tell the police. Keep a record of incidents and any other information you think may be pertinent. Do not put yourself in danger by confronting the perpetrator, allow professionals to handle the situation.