Wondering how to prevent elder abuse? A great start is learning the warning signs of neglect and exploitation so it can be stopped before the problem grows.
Do you think your loved one may be a victim of elder abuse?
We like to think our parents, grandparents, and other loved one’s caregivers treat them with the attention and love they deserve. But, there’s no way to know what’s going on behind closed doors when you’re not around.
When it comes to figuring out how to prevent elder abuse and, more specifically, neglect, the first step is to learn the warning signs.
Think your loved one may be suffering from abuse or neglect, but aren’t quite sure?
Here are seven signs of elder neglect you should look out for next time you visit your friend or family member.
- Unsanitary Conditions
Is your loved one’s house or room dirtier than it should be?
Messes are a part of life. That said, dirty sheets, food waste, and pests are signs that your loved one’s caregiver isn’t keeping their environment clean. If conditions don’t improve, you should seek out help immediately.
- Unsafe Conditions
Does your loved one have access to air conditioning or heating?
Another sign of elder neglect is an unsafe living environment. And, what constitutes “unsafe” is different for senior citizens than it is for everyone else.
If your loved one’s living conditions seem too dangerous for them and their level of mobility, they may be suffering from neglect.
- Weight Loss
While weight loss can come from various medical issues, it can also be a sign of elder neglect.
If your loved one seems thinner, and they don’t have any conditions that could cause weight loss, their caregiver may be neglecting them.
- Poor Appearance
Are your loved one’s clothes dirty? Do they seem uncharacteristically unkempt or ill-groomed?
Another sign of potential elder neglect could potentially lie in your friend’s or family member’s appearance. If they look or smell unclean, or their style has suddenly and drastically changed, their caregiver may be neglecting them.
- Untreated Injuries
Injuries and problems, like bedsores, could be a sign that your loved one’s caregiver isn’t watching them or caring for them the way they should.
- Missed Medication
It may be hard to keep tabs on all your loved one’s medical information. But, if you notice a sharp downturn in their health, it could be a sign that they haven’t been taking their medication — which could be a sign of neglect.
Finally, one of the most obvious signs that your elder loved one is suffering from neglect is public desertion.
If your friend or family member’s caregiver leaves them alone in a public place, they are almost definitely neglecting them in private.
If you notice any signs of elder abuse, you must take action as soon as possible. Contact a lawyer that specializes in elder abuse and neglect, like Sweet Lawyers, to review your options.
How to Prevent Elder Abuse: Knowledge Is Key
Learning how to prevent elder abuse and neglect is an essential part of caring for an older loved one, friend, or family member.
By keeping an eye out for these warning signs, you’ll be able to figure out whether your loved one is suffering from neglect sooner. So you can take action before any irreparable damage occurs.
Are you looking for more advice on how to care for your elder friends and family members? We’re here to help.
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