If your loved one enters a care facility or has at-home caregivers, you expect that he or she will receive optimal care. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Abusers may target members of the vulnerable population.
In Delaware, an older adult who relies on the care of others is a vulnerable person.
Financial abuse and exploitation
Financial abuse may be difficult to pinpoint at first. It may include the illegal misuse or taking of funds. If you have access to your loved one’s account, you may see unusual activity, including large, unexplained withdrawals. If the older adult has bills to pay, those bills may become unpaid. If a caretaker starts making financial transactions on behalf of the older person, it could indicate that the caretaker is exploiting or manipulating the patient. Talk to your loved one if you notice any of these signs to determine whether financial abuse may be taking place.
Physical abuse and neglect
Physical abuse can refer to inflicting pain or injuries on a patient. Additionally, it can refer to restraining another person, either physically or through the use of medication. Punishing someone by not feeding them or caring for them is a form of elder abuse. Look for signs of neglect, such as an unkempt or dirty appearance.
When older adults experience abuse of any form, they may become withdrawn or ashamed. It may take a compassionate and gentle conversation for them to open up about the abuse. In some cases, you may have to look for evidence and report it without their allegations.