Helping older adults continue being independent, healthy, and happy is the aim of not only our professional senior care team, but of each and every family caregiver who has ever helped care for a loved one. Since the wellbeing of older adults is so important to us, it’s vital that we review something that can be tough for many of us to even look into – elder abuse.
The CDC estimates that nearly 500,000 older adults are neglected or abused annually in the U.S. alone. However, many more elder abuse cases are believed to go unreported each year, which is why it’s important for family caregivers to be alert to potential abuse risks.
Following are a few of the risk factors associated with elder abuse:
- Reliance on others: Seniors who depend on others for care are typically not willing to mention any abuse because they may feel unsafe or that their care needs will not be able to be met by somebody else if the abuser is reported.
- Reduced physical health and mobility: Dementia, Alzheimer’s or other health conditions may raise an elder’s risk of being abused since the individual may not be capable of explaining or verbalizing the abuse.
- History of abuse: If the older person was abusive as a parent, there is an increased possibility of elder abuse, specifically if an adult child who was abused by the senior is the primary caregiver.
- Social isolation: Social isolation sometimes results when a senior loses a spouse or lives at a distance from friends and family, and it can result in the perfect atmosphere for elder abuse. Abusers quite often try to keep older individuals isolated by:
- Refusing to request economic aid or services
- Resisting outside help
- Switching social and healthcare professionals over and over again to make it challenging to evaluate the senior’s health status
- Controlling contact with the older adult
- Family caregiver burnout or stress: Stressed caregivers can become frustrated, leading them to lash out at the older adults in their care.
If a loved one is currently being cared for by a family member or other caregiver, be mindful of these risk factors, visit and call as often as possible to appraise the senior’s health, and play an active role in the person’s care.
At San Diego Home Caregivers, we understand how important a senior loved one’s health and safety are, and we always take the necessary steps to ensure we provide the best care. Every member of our senior care team has undergone a comprehensive background check, reference checks, and a personal interview to guarantee they meet our high care standards. Contact us today at (619) 487-9000 to learn more about our La Jolla senior care services and the communities we serve.