Article provided by San Diego Home Caregivers:

Providing the support that helps older adults remain independent, healthy, and happy is the mission of not only our professional senior care team, but of each and every family caregiver who has ever provided care for a loved one. Considering the health and happiness of seniors is so important to us, it’s essential that we take a look at a topic that can be tough for many of us to even contemplate – elder abuse.

The CDC states that as many as 500,000 seniors are neglected or abused per year in the United States alone. And, numerous additional elder abuse instances are believed to go unreported each year, which is why it’s imperative for family caregivers to be familiar with potential abuse risks.

The following are several of the risk factors identified with elder abuse:

  • Dependency on others: Seniors who depend upon others for care are often unlikely to bring to light any abuse, as they may feel vulnerable or that their care needs will not be able to be met by somebody else if the abuser is reported.
  • Diminished physical health and mobility: Alzheimer's, dementia, or other impairments may increase an older adult's danger of being abused because the individual may not be capable of conveying or verbalizing the abuse.
  • Previous history of abuse: If the older person was abusive as a parent, there is an enhanced risk for elder abuse, especially if an adult child who was abused by the older adult is the main caregiver.
  • Social isolation: Social isolation often occurs when a senior loses his or her spouse or lives in a distant location from family and friends, which can lay an ideal foundation for elder abuse. Abusers typically try to keep older individuals isolated by:
  • Refusing to apply for economic aid or services
  • Resisting outside help
  • Switching social and healthcare providers over and over again to make it hard to assess the senior’s health status
  • Controlling contact with the senior
  • Family caregiver burnout or stress: Stressed caregivers can become frustrated, leading them to lash out at the senior in their care.

If a loved one is currently being cared for by a family member, friend, or other caregiver, be conscious of these risk factors, call and visit as often as possible to appraise the senior’s health, and play an active role in the person's care.

At San Diego Home Caregivers, we realize how important a senior loved one’s safety and well being are, and we always take the appropriate measures to ensure we provide the best care. Each member of our senior care team has undergone an extensive background check, reference checks, and a personal interview to guarantee they meet our high care standards. Contact us today at (619) 487-9000 to learn more about our San Diego home care services.

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