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What are nonverbal warning signs of potential abuse?

The elderly remain among the most vulnerable of our population. Many no longer have the physical ability or mental capacity to do everything they once could. This leads to a heavy reliance on caretakers and facilities.

Unfortunately, some caretakers choose to abuse their power instead of helping. Your loved one may not always speak up about it, either. What are some nonverbal red flags you should keep an eye out for?

Signs of physical abuse

Forbes discusses some of the potential warning signs of abuse you may see if your elderly loved one is a target. In many cases, you should look for nonverbal signs. A large portion of elderly abuse victims do not mention their abuse for various reasons. The most obvious signs includes broken bones, bruises, scratches and other physical marks. Some abusers get away with this because elderly victims are more prone to accidents and bruise more easily.

Signs of neglect and food deprivation

They may also suffer from poor hygiene and rapid weight loss. The latter often comes from neglect or deliberate deprivation of food and water. This can also cause hair loss and the exacerbation of other health issues like diabetes. Poor supervision and neglect can lead to the development of bedsores and injuries in avoidable accidents.

In some cases, silence says a lot, too. Pay attention to how your loved one reacts to their caretakers. Is there anyone they clam up around or seem visibly uncomfortable near? Do not just write these instances off, even if your loved one has degenerative memory issues. You could be seeing signs of abuse.


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