Elderly abuse from family members is a very serious and sad problem that can happen in different ways. Like when someone hurts them physically. And makes them feel bad emotionally, takes their money, or doesn’t take care of them properly. But it’s totally wrong and against their rights as human beings. When your grown child breaks your heart. So it should never be seen as normal or okay.
Family members, especially, should treat older people with respect, dignity, and care. Because they deserve it. So if you suspect or have knowledge of any form of abuse. Or neglect towards an elderly person. You should take action to ensure their safety and well-being.
What Is Elderly Abuse From Family Members?
Elderly abuse from family members means when older people, like grandparents or parents, are treated badly. Or hurt by their own family. This mistreatment can include hitting and yelling. Or taking advantage of their money. It can also happen if the family members ignore their needs. Or leave them alone without help.
Elderly abuse is a serious problem. Because it can really hurt older people and make them feel sad and scared. It can affect their health and happiness. So It’s important to know the signs of elderly abuse. Because we should make sure they are safe and supported.
Types of Elderly Abuse From Family Members
- Physical Abuse. Hurting or harming the elderly person’s body.
- Emotional or Psychological Abuse. Saying or doing things that make the elderly person feel sad, scared, or upset.
- Financial Abuse. Taking advantage of the elderly person’s money. Or things without asking them first.
- Neglect. Not properly taking care of the elderly person’s basic needs. Related to food, shelter, or medical help.
- Social Isolation. Purposefully keeping the elderly person away from their loved ones. Or others who can support and help them.
9 Warning Signs of Elderly Abuse From Family Members
1- Unexplained injuries
Look out for often happening marks, like swellings, burns, and broken bones. Or other injuries that the elderly person cannot understand. Or that don’t match what they usually do. These injuries might be a sign that someone in their family is hurting them physically.
2- Emotional distress
Pay attention if the older person starts feeling very different emotions than before. They might become more worried, frightened, and upset. Or if they are trying to avoid being around other people. Because these changes can mean that someone in their family is being mean. And hurtful to them emotionally or mentally.
3- Sudden weight loss or malnutrition
If the older person suddenly loses a lot of weight. Or seems like they aren’t eating enough, it’s concerning. This could happen because their family members are not taking good care of them. And they lake wholesome family living.
And making sure they have enough nutritious meals. So it’s important to pay attention to this. Because it might mean that the elderly person is being treated badly by their own family members.
4- Unsanitary living conditions
If the place where the older person lives is very dirty or untidy. Or if they don’t take care of their own cleanliness and wear dirty clothes. So it might mean that their family is not looking after them properly. Because this suggests that the family is not meeting the needs of the older person. Or not taking good care of their well-being.
5- Financial exploitation from family members
Be alert to indications that someone is mishandling the older person’s money. This might involve sudden and unexpected changes in the older person’s financial situation. For instance, someone might take their money or belongings without permission. Or valuable items may go missing without a valid explanation.
6- Social isolation
If the older person is being kept away from their friends, family, or social activities on purpose. So this could mean that their family members are trying to control or manipulate them. Because when someone is isolated from others. It can be a type of emotional abuse. So it shows that there is an unfair balance of power.
7- Lack of medical care
If the older person doesn’t get the medical care they need, like going to the doctor or taking their medications. Or receiving any necessary treatments for their health problems. So it could be a sign of neglect. But neglecting their medical needs puts their well-being in danger. Because family members are not taking proper care of them.
8- Fear or anxiety around specific family members
Be aware if the older person looks afraid or uncomfortable around certain family members. So try to pay attention if they try to stay away from these individuals. Or express concerns about how they behave. So this might mean that those family members are treating them poorly or hurting them.
9- Power and control dynamics
Keep an eye out for noticeable signs of someone trying to control, scare, or threaten the older person. But also, pay attention to whether someone is depriving them of their freedom. And the ability to do things independently.
Because these power dynamics may suggest mistreatment. Indicating that their family members could be controlling. Or coercing them into doing things they don’t wish to do. Walking away is also involved.
Elderly Abuse From Family Members: What You Need to Do
Try to make sure the older person is safe from family members
- If there’s an emergency
If the older person is in immediate danger. Call for emergency help right away. In the United States, dial 911.
- If it’s not an emergency
If you think the situation is serious but not an emergency. So you should contact your local non-emergency police line. Because they can give you guidance and support.
Try to gather evidence of elderly abuse from family members
- Write down what happened
So try to keep a record of any signs or incidents of abuse that you’ve seen. Or that the older person has told you about. Include the dates, times, descriptions of what happened, and any visible injuries. Because this information can help strengthen your case.
Try to support the older person
- Talk privately
Start by having a private and caring conversation with the older person to show that you care about them. Listen carefully to how they feel and what they have experienced without judging them. Let them know that you’re there to help and that their safety is important.
- Get help from adult protective services
If you suspect elder abuse, reach out to adult protective services. Find the right agency in your area that deals with elder abuse. And report the situation to them promptly. They will guide you through the process and take the necessary steps.
- Get legal advice
So you should get legal advice by consulting with a lawyer who specializes in elder law or family law. Because they will explain your legal options. Such as getting protective orders or guardianship if needed. The lawyer can also help you explore other ways to legally protect the older person.
- Involve trusted people
Every person needs a loving family. But if elderly abuse is coming from a specific family member. So you should consider involving other trusted family members, and close friends. Or professionals who can help mediate or intervene. Because their support is important in addressing the abuse and protecting the older person.
- Ensure well-being
Make sure the older person’s well-being is taken care of by helping them. And access medical care, counseling services, or support groups that they may need. Because you should be there for them emotionally. And help them stay connected with friends and loved ones. So that they can offer support during this challenging time.