How to Spot Elder Abuse from Afar

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Even if you can’t see your senior loved one as often as you’d like, you can take steps to prevent elder abuse. Abuse can be subtle, such as a neglectful caregiver avoiding daily grooming routines. These tips can help you protect your loved one from both subtle and obvious abuse when you can’t be with him or her. 


Choose Professional Care

Hiring a caregiver from a professional home care agency allows you to more easily monitor your loved one. Professional home care agencies usually require background checks, and caregivers are subject to oversight that may not be available when choosing a private caregiver. 

If you have a senior loved one who needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of home care families can rely on. All of our caregivers are bonded, licensed, and insured, there are no hidden fees, and we never ask our clients to sign long-term contracts.


Make Frequent Contact

Often, changes in social habits and communication styles are the first signs of elder abuse. For instance, your loved one may begin refusing your calls for no reason in an effort to hide the abuse. Call your loved one often, and set aside time for frequent video chats to monitor his or her overall wellbeing when you can’t be there in person. Video chats are also an easy way to monitor for visible signs of abuse, such as bruises or a persistently unkempt appearance. 


Check the Bank

Financial abuse is a major issue for seniors who rely on their caregivers to pay bills and purchase necessities. To prevent financial abuse, check your loved one’s bank records monthly, and address any unusual purchases or unexpected withdrawals promptly. Online bill pay is also an option that ensures your loved one’s basic expenses are covered without the need to access the account personally. Financial oversight is particularly important if your loved one relies on a caregiver to pay bills and make everyday purchases. 


Build a Network

If your loved one lives at home, spend some time getting to know his or her neighbors and other people in the community. Make sure the neighbors have your contact information and are willing to look in on your loved one regularly to prevent caregiver abuse. A strong community support system also prevents depression and boosts overall wellbeing among the elderly. Senior centers and adult day care facilities are both excellent options that offer access to a larger care network with more oversight from a variety of caregivers. 

Seniors can face a variety of age-related challenges. Though some families choose to take on the caregiving duties, there may come a time when they need a trusted at-home care provider. Families sometimes need respite from their duties so they can focus on their other responsibilities, and some seniors need around-the-clock assistance that their families are not able to provide. Assisting Hands Home Care is here to help.


Create a Plan

Prompt action is vital if you suspect your loved one is experiencing abuse. You shouldn’t expect your loved one to tell you about the abuse. Your parent may try to hide the abuse because he or she feels ashamed or doesn’t want you to worry. In the case of physical, sexual, or financial abuse, the best option is to immediately contact the authorities and find a new caregiver. You should also consider setting aside a few vacation days each year in case you need to visit your loved one. A quick visit allows you to evaluate potentially abusive situations so you can make the best choices when caring for your loved one. 

One of the best ways to prevent elder abuse is to hire a trustworthy, compassionate home caregiver. Though you may be researching multiple agencies that provide home care service, Assisting Hands Home Care has much to offer your family and your elderly loved one. We are leaders in the senior home care industry, offering hourly and around-the-clock assistance from reliable, experienced caregivers. Trust Assisting Hands Home Care to help your loved one enjoy a happier and healthier life in the golden years. For more information about our flexible, customizable home care plans, call one of our compassionate Care Specialists today.

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