Elder Abuse Awareness

Source: 
San Diego Union-Tribune
Published: 
06/15/2008

 

The San Diego Union-Tribune

From physical abuse to financial fraud, statistics show that an elderly person is victimized every 2.7 minutes. To bring these issues to light, tomorrow is being marked as Elder Abuse Awareness Day. So, how can you know if your loved one is being abused? Eider care expert and author Marion Somers, who appeared in the documentary "Saving Our Parents" to raise awareness on elder abuse, encourages you to be on the lookout for the following warning signs:

Changes In personality. This is one of the most obvious signs of a potential abuse situation. If your elder is normally happy and cheerful and suddenly becomes depressed or withdrawn, this could indicate a more serious problem.

Mysterious bumps and bruises. New scrapes, cuts and bruises could signify an elder is being mistreated. Also, pay attention to changes in wardrobe. Many victims of abuse will try to cover injuries with long sleeves and bulky clothing.

Attitude shift. Strange or out-of-character behavior could indicate trouble in a caregiving situation. Less attention for general appearance and hygiene could also indicate a problem.

Secretive behavior. Problematic caregiving can be easy to recognize over the phone. Does your elder appear more frightened or jumpier than usual? Does he or she lower his or her voice when the caregiver is in the room?

A new "best friend." Scammers often prey on lonely seniors, befriending them only to later cheat them out of money and break their hearts in the process. Be wary if your loved one suddenly starts buying someone expensive gifts, or gives someone you haven't met access to their personal or financial information. Visit savingourparents.com for more information.

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