Are They Being Abused?


Because elder abuse is a growing problem we need to be able to recognize any signs of the abuse.  We all need to be concerned about this issue and the only way to stop it is to spot it and report it.  The presence of one of the following signs isn’t necessarily a red flag that someone is being abused.  If a group of these signs appear, take note and make a call for help.  The elderly are often afraid to report abuse because they think there could be some retaliation for it or because they may be afraid there will then be no one left to take care of them.  Some signs of abuse include:

Physical/Sexual Abuse

  • Bruises, cuts, broken bones, burns or other physical trauma
  • Rope or restraint marks on hands, arms, or legs
  • Pain upon being touched
  • Injuries that can’t be explained or for which a variety of explanations have been given
  • Irritation or bleeding from anal or vaginal areas

Psychological/Emotional Abuse

  • Lack of eye contact or cowering when the abuser is present
  • Social isolation from friends and neighbors
  • Unusual behavior by the elder  like biting or rocking
  • Unexplained weight gain or loss
  • Elder person is non-responsive or withdrawn

Financial/Material Abuse

  • Unpaid bills or the presence of shut off notices from utility companies
  • Unexplained or very frequent activity in the elder person’s bank accounts
  • A lack of things needed for the elder person’s care even though there is money available to pay for what’s needed
  • Valuable personal belongings are missing


  • The elder person is dehydrated or has bed sores
  • The home is dirty or in disrepair
  • The elder person’s clothes are dirty or improper for the current weather
  • Medication isn’t given correctly eg. unmarked or outdated prescription bottles are lying around


Remember, if you suspect elder abuse, make a phone call to Adult Protective Services. The elderly are often afraid or unable to speak for themselves.  You may be their only hope. What other signs of elder abuse do you know of? Comment below.

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Filed under Alzheimer's, Caregiver, companionship, Farmington Hills, Health care services, Home Care, House Keeping, Medication Reminder, Personal care, Senior Care, Transportation, Uncategorized, West Bloomfield

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