How can you protect the elderly against abuse?

Elder abuse can impact the longevity and quality of life of your aging loved one. Your diligence in staying informed of the conditions your family member lives in may help you mitigate the risks of mistreatment.

Another powerful way to protect the elderly against abuse is to educate them about what abuse looks like. Instruct them about appropriate and effective ways to report mistreatment to hopefully end abuse before it endangers their safety.

Types of abuse

When you hear about abuse, your mind may go to physical violence including hitting, kicking and slapping. However, according to the National Center on Elder Abuse some other forms of abuse include the following:

  • Financial exploitation
  • Sexual harassment
  • Neglect and abandonment
  • Psychological abuse
  • Emotional mistreatment

Timely intervention

You can talk with your elderly family members about how to defend themselves in dangerous situations. Encourage them to share openly about situations that caused them discomfort. If they confide in you, report your concerns to the appropriate party right away. Regular visitation may help you catch suspicious incidents early on.

Even if you catch abuse early on and successfully protect your loved one from further harm, psychological trauma could have a substantial impact on comfort and quality of life. One way to combat these effects is through the use of therapy. You can accompany your family member and participate in exercises designed to manage triggers and resolve trauma.

If elder abuse has caused distress to your loved one, you have the right to take legal action against the perpetrators. Your family member deserves to feel safe and to receive loving and compassionate treatment.



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