Providing the assistance that helps seniors continue being independent, healthy, and happy is the mission of our professional senior care experts. Considering the quality of life of aging adults is so important to us, it’s crucial that we take a look at a topic that can be challenging for many of us to even imagine – elder abuse.
The CDC states that about 500,000 older individuals are neglected or abused annually in the U.S. alone. Not only that, but numerous additional elder abuse cases are presumed to go unreported each year, which is why it’s essential for family caregivers to be aware of possible abuse risks.
Below are some of the factors that can put seniors at risk of elder abuse:
- Reliance on others: Older adults who are dependent on others for care are many times unwilling to speak up about any abuse because they may feel unsafe or that their care needs will not be able to be met by others if the abuser is reported.
- Decreased physical health and mobility: Dementia, Alzheimer’s or other health conditions may raise an elder’s risk of being abused because the person may be incapable of describing or verbalizing the abuse.
- Previous history of abuse: If the older adult was abusive as a parent, there is an enhanced likelihood for elder abuse, specifically if an adult child who was abused by the senior is the primary caretaker.
- Social isolation: Social isolation often results when a senior loses a spouse or lives at a distance from friends and family, and it can produce the perfect atmosphere for elder abuse. Abusers frequently try to keep seniors isolated by:
- Refusing to request economic aid or services
- Resisting outside help
- Switching health care and social professionals on a regular basis to make it challenging to evaluate the senior’s health status
- Limiting contact with the elder
- Family caregiver burnout or stress: Stressed caregivers can become depressed, causing them to lash out at the older individuals in their care.
If a loved one is being cared for by a family member or other caregiver, be mindful of these risk factors, call and visit as often as possible to evaluate the senior’s health, and play an active role in their care.
At Harmony Home Health & Hospice, a trusted provider of Provo home care services, we know how important a senior loved one’s safety and health are, and we take the right steps to ensure we provide the highest level of care. Each member of our senior health care team has passed a thorough background check, reference checks, and a personal interview to confirm they meet our high care requirements. Contact us today online or call us at 1-877-I-NEED-CARE to learn more about our home care services in Utah and New Mexico.