Prestige Home Care

Recognizing the Signs of Elder Abuse


Recognizing the Signs of Elder Abuse

When you entrust your loved one with an assisted living or nursing facility, you expect them to treat your senior parent with the same care and respect that you do. Windermere family caregivers should expect nothing less than optimal care for their senior loved ones, but sometimes seniors endure what is known as elder abuse at the hands of the people hired to care for them. To protect your senior loved one from elder abuse, watch out for the following signs before finding a compassionate alternative for your elderly family member.

What Are the Warning Signs of Elder Abuse?

Unexplained Injuries

Bruises, sprains, welts, or dislocations that cannot be explained are some of the most common signs of physical elder abuse. Though seniors may face minor injuries during daily activities, you should be concerned if these injuries frequently occur and your loved one cannot accurately explain how it happened.

Excessively Supervised Visits

If a caregiver insists upon being in the room while you spend time with your senior loved one, he or she may be intimidating your family member to keep your loved one from alerting you to the abuse. Caregivers may stay with seniors while you visit, but you should be wary if they refuse to give you time alone with your loved one.

Personality Changes

Seniors who experience elder abuse may undergo strange personality changes, which can also be a sign of dementia. If your loved one hasn’t been diagnosed with dementia, it may be a sign that your loved one is experiencing emotional or physical abuse from a caregiver. Watch out for unusual behaviors and habits such as mumbling, depression, or anxiety, as these might be the result of trauma.

Weight Loss or Malnutrition

Seniors may lose weight due to a medical illness, but if your loved one suddenly loses weight without any underlying medical problem, it could mean your loved one isn’t eating healthfully or at all. Malnutrition, dehydration, and weight loss can be all a sign that your loved one is not getting the care he or she deserves.

Improper Use of Medication

If your senior loved one consistently runs out of a prescription or has a lot of the prescription remaining when it should be empty, he or she may be experiencing some sort of abuse. Changes in how much medication a senior is taking could be due to an unscrupulous caregiver committing health care fraud or overdosing a senior to make them easier to control.

What You Can Do

If you notice any concerning signs in an older loved one, friend or neighbor, speak up right away. It could save their life. 

First, have a private conversation with the individual and express your concerns for their well-being. You can start by saying you want to help and ask questions to understand their situation. If they won’t answer or you suspect elder abuse, their safety may be at risk. If you believe they are in immediate danger, call 911.

If the problem isn’t urgent, contact your local Adult Protective Services agency. You do not need proof of abuse – they will investigate any report to check on the senior’s safety. National, state and community groups can also provide emotional, legal and financial assistance to vulnerable older adults.

For seniors in need of additional support, partnering with a trusted in-home care provider like Prestige Home Care is an excellent option. We ensure your loved one’s safety by subjecting our caregivers to extensive background checks and requiring impeccable references. Additionally, our caregivers receive optimal training through our Prestige Home Care University before being matched with a senior based on compatibility. Whether your loved one needs our services on an hourly or live-in basis, we provide seniors with at-home care Windermere families can trust. Call a compassionate Care Manager today at 407-329-6613 to learn more about our care services and schedule a free consultation.

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Kimberly Miller, RN, is a proud Florida native with an unwavering commitment to elder care that spans an impressive 25 years. Her extensive journey through central Florida’s hospitals, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and hospice companies has not only honed her understanding of disease processes but has also cultivated a profound expertise in navigating the intricate landscape of elder care. Kimberly’s dedication to delivering the highest quality of care to patients and their families is evident in every facet of her career.Armed with certifications as an assisted living administrator, Kimberly’s primary focus on customer service and her drive to address the holistic needs of individuals—mind, body, and soul—have led her to a resounding conclusion: home care is the future of personalized, high-quality care. Her conviction is rooted in the understanding that a combination of healthy nutrition, physical and mental exercise, and social engagement is directly linked to improved physical and mental well-being.The recent global pandemic has served as a poignant reminder of the limitations of institutional care, further strengthening Kimberly’s resolve. Motivated by a profound desire to make a meaningful difference, she has taken the helm at Prestige Home Care. Here, Kimberly is dedicated to providing a level of care that goes beyond industry standards—a level of care she would wholeheartedly entrust to her own family.