With each passing day, it’s not just you who’s getting older. The world is getting older, too. The number of Americans aged 65 and above is expected to go from 46 million to 98 million by 2060. That’s more than double its current number. It’s made more horrifying when you realize that caretakers will eventually abuse many of these future seniors. Even now, 1 out of 6 seniors is suspected of having suffered abuse, either at the hands of friends or family. What more when these numbers start to skyrocket?
Home care is understandably tricky. Few people have the patience or experience to take care of their elders, but that doesn’t give them an excuse to mistreat their charge. These are people, too, and home care is a franchise that’s rife with opportunities. If people can’t take care of their elderly, they should send them a place that can take care of them, not abuse them.
Not all older people will undergo this abuse. Even in advanced age, some are still more than of taking of themselves. Some are not so lucky. Here’s how you can determine if an older adult is being abused:
The Warning Signs
The easiest way to spot elderly abuse is to see if they have any bruises on their body. Assault against the elderly is a real thing and has lasting repercussions on their health. Their caretaker might inflict signs of pain or injury. Similarly, withholding their medication and trying to overdose them are classified as physical abuse. Signs of physical abuse are bruises, broken bones, and scarring. Drug overdose and broken furniture can also be telling symptoms of elderly abuse.
On the other hand, threats such as intimidation and shouting fall under abuse. Ridiculing and embarrassing them can significantly impact their psyche. Isolating them from friends and family and threatening them are all forms of emotional or mental abuse. The effects of emotional abuse manifest when seniors appear listless, distant, and scared.
There are also less malicious forms of abuse. Elderly neglect is often unintentional but has a significant impact on their lives. Things such as forgetting to give them food or medicine, forgetting to bathe them, or even leaving them alone can all be elderly neglect. This is especially true if they are incapable of functioning without assistance.
Abused or neglected seniors might appear unkempt, unusually thin, or dehydrated. Things like bed sores and unsanitary conditions develop in cases like these as the guardians are usually the ones who take care of them. Learn how to spot the warning signs. Get help before it’s too late.
Helping Seniors Recover
Helping them recover won’t be an easy task. Most of these abuses occur due to unwilling or uncaring caregivers. While these aren’t easily rectified, at least the presence of senior homes reduces the chance of this happening. The capable staff is not only prepared to care for them; it’s also trained to bear with them. Patience is an outstanding quality when dealing with the elderly, a quality that these professionals have.
If you spot any older adult in need, don’t hesitate. Call the police, and set them on the road to recovery.