Elder Abuse

How to Recognize – and Prevent – Elder Abuse

Ensuring that the older adults we’re honored to serve throughout Tucson and the surrounding area are safe, happy, healthy, and independent is our top priority at Senior HomeCare of Tucson, and we know that goal is shared by the many family members who serve as caregivers for their own loved ones. As such, it’s crucial that we share important information that can be painful for many of us to even consider – elder abuse.

According to the CDC , as many as 500,000 older adults are neglected or abused each and every year in the U.S. alone. Not only that, but countless additional instances of elder abuse are suspected to remain unreported each year, making it imperative for family caregivers to be informed of possible abuse risks.

Below are just several of the risk factors that may be evident in seniors experiencing elder abuse:

  • Dependency: Older adults who rely on others for care are often hesitant to bring up any abuse they are enduring, as they may feel vulnerable or that their care needs will not be met if they report their abuser.
  • Mobility/health issues: Alzheimer’s disease and other chronic health conditions can increase an older adult’s chance of being abused, as the person may not be capable of verbalizing and/or explaining the abuse that is occurring.
  • History: If the senior had been abusive to his/her own children as a parent, there is a heightened risk for elder abuse, particularly if the formerly abused child is now the senior’s primary caregiver.
  • Isolation: Social isolation is, sadly, quite common in seniors, who may have lost a spouse and other family and friends, or when the senior lives far away from loved ones – which can lead to an environment that is conducive to elder abuse. Abusers are notorious for trying to isolate older adults by:
    • Refusing to accept financial services or aid
    • Refusing to accept help from others
    • Switching doctors routinely, to make it difficult to evaluate the older adult’s health status on an ongoing basis
    • Controlling contact between the older adult and others
  • Burnout: Overly stressed caregivers can quickly become discouraged and burned out, sometimes resulting in them lashing out at the older adults they’re caring for.

If an older adult you love is currently receiving care from a family member, friend, or other caregiver, be especially alert to these risk factors, and be sure to call or visit as often as possible to remain aware of the senior’s health, playing as active a role in his or her care as possible.

At Senior HomeCare of Tucson, the top provider of professional caregivers in Tucson and the surrounding communities, we go to great lengths to ensure our caregiving staff are fully background checked, trained, and experienced in safe, reliable, compassionate care for older adults. Contact us to find a partner in care you can trust to keep older loved ones safe. You can reach us any time at 520-355-4787.

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