Knowing the facts about elder abuse is an essential part of having an elderly loved one receiving care. It comes in many forms, and being able to recognize this can help your loved one to remain safe and happy. Elder abuse goes far beyond physical abuse. While bruises, limping, and broken bones might be the hallmark signs of physical abuse, the majority of actual abuse is more silent and invisible.

Emotional abuse is a common under the radar type of mistreatment. If you have a loved one who is suddenly touchy or withdrawn, it may be because they are being emotionally abused. This can take the form of being sworn at, yelled at, or intimidated. Either way, it is a very serious and demeaning type of abuse and can result in your loved one being scared and depressed. If you notice these things once, it might be a fluke, but if they are constantly and suddenly acting this way, some serious questions need to be asked.

Neglect is also a silent form of abuse. When your loved one is losing weight or is not being bathed, it could be because their caregiver is not doing what they should be. Skipping showers or not feeding your loved one is a serious form of abuse and needs to be addressed as quickly as possible.

Financial abuse is perhaps one of the most difficult forms of elder abuse to spot. This is because just a quick look at your loved one will not reveal anything. In fact, your loved one might not even know that it is going on. But if you take a closer look at their bank account, some sort of problem might be detected. First, you need to know your loved one’s spending habits. By being aware of what they usually buy, you can be better equipped to see if any sort of oddity is occurring within their accounts. Be wary of strange withdrawals and purchases as these might not have been made by your loved one at all.

The secret to beating elder abuse is to remain in an open dialogue with your loved one. By being upfront and honest with them, they will have a better opportunity to tell you exactly what is going on with their lives. Oftentimes, seniors are scared to speak out for their own good, but the more open you are with them and the more questions you ask, the better able they will be to give a voice to their concerns. Openness and awareness of their condition is the single most important thing you can do to help avoid them from being abused. You love your family and you want the best for them. Helping to avoid and prevent elder abuse is going to do nothing but improve their quality of life.