There is always a risk that an elderly person who is being abused or neglected will not seek help. In those cases, it's important for the surrounding people to recognize that they're in danger and to do what they can to help.
Signs of neglect or elder abuse
- Dehydration and malnutrition
- Unsafe housing
- Worsening or sudden onset of medical or mental conditions
- Ambivalence toward family or caregivers
- Emotional distress
- Self-destructive behavior
- Poor hygiene
- Absence of aids such as glasses, walkers, dentures or braces
If you notice any of these things when spending time with a loved one, it's time to take a step closer and explore the situation. Yes, it's possible that your loved one is cared for but is struggling with mental health or physical health issues. It's also possible that they are in trouble as a result of an inability to seek the help they need.
What are some causes of elder neglect or abuse?
In many cases, it's a result of caretaker stress. For instance, a caretaker who isn't getting enough sleep or who is depressed might not make the best decisions or may cut back on the amount of care they provide.
Lack of support is another reason that can lead to elder abuse or neglect. Not having support when caring for an elder can cause caretakers to break down, leading to poor care. These are just a few things to consider. Our site has more on the symptoms of abuse and neglect to look for.