Senior citizens, whether they receive 24-hour care or just day-to-day visits from caretakers, can be subject to elder abuse.
One symptom of elder abuse is a physical injury. Seniors are easy to overpower and can get hurt easily. Some examples of physical abuse include loss of hair or teeth, bruises, broken bones, odd marks on the skin, or burns.
If the senior is unable to care for him or herself and requires 24-hour care, it can be considered neglect if the caretaker does not provide the necessary daily assistance. Indicators include bad body odor, dirty clothing, skipped or missed medication, or a home that is unusually dirty.
Emotional abuse can often be difficult to discern because there are few outward symptoms. Some things to look for include fearful reactions in the presence of the caretaker, nervous rocking motions, or a caretaker that attempts to isolate the senior.
Sadly, sexual abuse against seniors can happen. Seniors are vulnerable and easily victimized, particularly dementia patients or other those with cognitive disabilities. Examples to look for include bruising in the genital or breast areas, sexually transmitted diseases, or bleeding from vaginal or rectal areas.
A caretaker can also harm seniors by taking advantage of them financially. This is quite common for seniors with 24-hour care, as they often allow caregivers to handle their finances. There can be many indicators of financial abuse, including multiple withdrawals of cash, bills going unpaid, or continuous use of credit cards.
If senior abuse is suspected for those getting ongoing care, it is best to contact the police or the local adult protective services agency. When searching for the right home care for elderly individuals, always look for a reputable company that completes comprehensive background checks.