Four warning signs of elder abuse

Elder Abuse Awareness Day is this coming Friday (June 15), and commemorations will take place across North America, including at the White House, where a symposium will be held the day before.

Because elder abuse can come in many forms, not just physical violence, it’s important for family members to know the warning signs.

Courtesy of the Administration on Aging, here are four key warning signs to watch out for. Any one of these does not necessarily indicate abuse, but a number of them should be cause for concern:

1/ Does your loved one have physical signs of abuse, such as bruises, welts and scars? This could be evidence of physical abuse.

2/ Is your loved one increasingly irritable and short-tempered around you and other people? If so, this may be a sign that they have faced emotional abuse or neglect at the hands of friends, a spouse, caregivers, or even their children.

3/ Has your loved one’s financial situation suddenly changed for the worse? If they have lost a significant amount of money recently, they may be victims of financial abuse and exploitation.

4/ Have you witnessed examples of verbal abuse or harassment against your loved one? Anyone can be a culprit, and it’s important to watch their interactions with others to see if you can learn anything.

Elder abuse can happen anywhere, including at home or in an assisted living community, so it’s up to you to keep an eye on your loved one to ensure they are not suffering at the hands of anyone.

Check throughout the week for special articles on Elder Abuse Awareness Day.