How to Prevent Elder Abuse

how to prevent elder abuse

Studies show that one in ten Americans aged 60 and over will experience some type of elder abuse while being cared for at home or in nursing or residential facilities. Until this past year, there have been no federal regulations that cover home-health workers, which has only further contributed to this growing concern.

Ultimately, the goal is to stop elder abuse before it starts. If an elder friend or family member is in your care or in the care of a nursing home, read up on these four impactful ways you can help to prevent elder abuse.

1. Listen to Elders

Don’t underestimate the importance of listening to what your elderly loved ones are telling you. Remember that not all abuse is physical, and the only signs of emotional or financial abuse may be lurking beneath what your elder has to say about their caregiver. If you suspect any signs of physical, emotional, sexual, or financial abuse, report the incident to Adult Protective Services.

2. Learn the Signs of Elder Abuse

Knowing what to look for is half the battle when trying to prevent elder abuse. Some of the most common signs include:

  • Rapid weight loss or weight gain
  • Unexplained injuries
  • Signs of neglect like bed sores, dehydration, and poor hygiene
  • Sudden unusual behavior
  • Emotional or social withdrawal
  • Frequent unexplained illness

3. Get Help from Friends and Family

If you’re taking care of an elderly family member yourself, try to enlist as much help from friends and family members as you can. This can be a full-time job, in addition to all of your other daily responsibilities, so avoid putting yourself in a position where you feel isolated and overwhelmed.

Take a break every once in a while, even if just for an hour or two, so that your own mental and physical health don’t suffer as a result of your position as a caretaker.

4. Know Where to Turn for Help

Have a list of resources readily available if an elderly family member is in your care or at a nursing home or residential facility. Below are just a few helpful resources to have on file:

  • Elder Abuse Helplines and Hotlines — 800-677-1116 and 911
  • National Center on Elder Abusewww.ncea.aoa.gov
  • National Institute on Aging www.nia.nih.gov

You can also take a look at our events page, where you’ll find two separate FREE seminars on elder law for seniors and caregivers coming up.

Upcoming Events

Nov
13
Tue
6:00 pm Elder Law for Seniors & Caregive... @ Allegheny-Kiski Health Foundation
Elder Law for Seniors & Caregive... @ Allegheny-Kiski Health Foundation
Nov 13 @ 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm
The Bernice & Joe Stimel Fund is sponsoring the second part of the popular program presented by Saxonburg attorney Laurel Hartshorn. The program expands on the presentation that Attorney Hartshorn provided earlier this year. Its focus will be on ways to preserve wealth, plan for elder care,