Helping older adults stay independent, healthy, and happy is the aim of not only our professional senior care staff, but of family caregivers. Considering the wellbeing of elders is so important to us, it’s vital that we take a look at a topic that can be difficult for many of us to even think about – elder abuse and risk factors.
The CDC states that nearly 500,000 senior citizens are abused or neglected every year in the U.S. alone. Not only that, but countless additional elder abuse cases are presumed to go unreported each year, which is why it’s important for family members to be aware of potential abuse risks.
The following are several of the top elder abuse risk factors:
- Reliance on others: Seniors who depend on others for care are in many cases unlikely to speak up about any abuse as they may feel unsafe or that their care needs won’t be able to be met by someone else if the abuser is reported.
- Diminished physical health and mobility: Dementia, Alzheimer’s or other health conditions may increase an older adult’s chance of being abused, since the person may not be capable of detailing or verbalizing the abuse.
- History of abuse: If the older person was abusive as a parent, there is an enhanced likelihood for elder abuse, especially if an adult child who was abused by the older adult is the main care provider.
- Social isolation: Social isolation sometimes occurs when a senior loses his or her spouse or lives far apart from family and friends, and it can result in the perfect environment for elder abuse. Abusers frequently try to keep seniors isolated by:
- Refusing to find economic aid or services
- Resisting outside support
- Changing social and healthcare professionals routinely to make it challenging to evaluate the older adult’s health status
- Limiting contact with the elder
- Family caregiver burnout or stress: Overloaded caregivers can become discouraged, leading them to lash out at the seniors in their care.
If a loved one is currently being cared for by a family member or other caregiver, be aware of these elder abuse risk factors, visit or call as often as possible to evaluate the senior’s health, and play an active role in the senior’s care.
At Carolina Hearts Home Care, we realize how important a senior loved one’s health and wellbeing are, and we take the necessary measures to ensure we provide the very best care. Each member of our senior care team has gone through an extensive background check, reference checks, and a personal interview to confirm they meet our high care criteria.