nav-left cat-right

How to Recognize Elderly Abuse

Putting an elderly family member in nursing homes and home care can be a great source of relief. This is because you can be assured that they will be receiving assistance whenever they need to. Unfortunately, there are numerous stories about elderly abuse circulating around that causes people to be concerned about their welfares – which is only natural.

Old Woman - How to Recognize Elderly Abuse

It is unfair, of course, to put blame on all elderly institutions for the wrongdoing of a select few. This is why it is important for you to learn how to recognize if your loved one is being abused.

There are five kinds of elderly abuse: physical, emotional, sexual, elder neglect, and financial exploitation. Learn all about them below.

Physical Abuse

Physical abuse is the use of physical force – which is not accidental – against an elderly individual. It can take many forms such as shoving, hitting, confinement, restraints, and use of inappropriate drugs.


  • When a caregiver does not allow you to visit the elder alone
  • Rope marks and other signs of restraint
  • Broken frames or eyeglasses
  • The failure to take medication regularly or drug overdose
  • Dislocations, sprains, or broken bones
  • Unexplained injuries, scars, welts, or bruises

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse happens when a person treats or speaks to an elderly individual that eventually causes distress or emotional pain. A number of them would include:

  • Menacing or terrorizing the elderly
  • Isolating the elderly from activities and friends
  • Ignoring the elderly
  • Habitual scapegoating or blaming
  • Ridicule and humiliation
  • Intimidating the elderly through threats or yelling


  • Behaviours which are similar to dementia like mumbling to oneself, sucking their thumbs, and rocking oneself
  • Caregiver’s controlling, belittling, or threatening behaviour

Sexual Abuse

Sexual abuse can refer to the physical sex acts that were performed without the consent of the elderly. It also involves other actions like forcing an elderly to undress and to watch sex acts as well as pornography.


  • Bloody, stained, or torn underclothing
  • Unexplained bleeding of their vaginal or anal area
  • Bruises around their genitals and breasts

Old man - How to Recognize Elderly Abuse

Elder Neglect

The most reported case of elderly abuse is elder abandonment or neglect by the caregiver. It is the failure of providing proper care to an individual – whether it was intentional or unintentional. Caregivers, who were found guilty of this, often plead denial or ignorance that the elderly needs a certain amount of care.


  • Leaving the elderly alone at a public space
  • Perilous living conditions such as fire hazards, faulty electrical wiring, and the lack of running water and heat
  • Inappropriate covering or clothing for the weather
  • The elderly remains dirty or unbathed
  • Dirty living conditions: bugs, dirt, soiled clothing and beddings
  • Physical problems that remains untreated, like bed sores
  • Dehydration, malnutrition, or unusual weight loss

Financial Exploitation

The elderly are also highly susceptible to financial exploitation and scams, which can be performed by a caregiver or another person.

Unscrupulous caregivers can:

  • Perform identity theft
  • Falsify an elder’s signature
  • Steal household goods, income checks, or cash
  • Abuse an elder’s bank accounts, credit cards, or personal checks


  • Unnecessary subscriptions, goods, or services
  • Financial activities an elderly could not possibly done due to circumstances like being bedridden
  • Lack of medical care or unpaid bills
  • Uncanny changes in power of attorney, policies, titles, and will
  • Missing cash or items in the elderly’s household
  • Abrupt changes to the financial condition of an elderly
  • Huge withdrawals from the senior’s bank accounts

Familiarize yourself with all the different kinds of abuse your elderly loved one may experience while receiving care from a caregiver. More importantly, double check an institution before availing their services for your elderly. It does not matter whether they are the top providers of dementia caregivers in Chicago or from other major US cities.


About the Author:
Laurel Santos is a 24 year old grown up woman whose kid at heart. She lives in the city and works as a freelance photographer. She also manages a small pet shop inside their village. She loves traveling so much because she believes that one should not just die staying in without exploring the world. She got a big heart for animals especially those stray dogs. Despite her busy schedule she always finds time to do one thing that she is very passionate about which is writing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *