Be on the lookout for these signs and symptoms:
- Mood and/or personality change, unexplained withdrawal from normal activities, a sudden change in alertness, and unusual depression may be indicators of emotional abuse.
- Mysterious injuries ranging in severity, including bruises, pressure sores, abrasions, fractures or broken bones, burns and scars.
- Repeated falls under similar circumstances (same location or time of day).
- Bedsores, poor hygiene, unusual weight loss or unattended
medical needs are indicators of possible neglect.
- Behavior such as belittling, threats, and other uses of power and control by caregivers are indicators of verbal or emotional abuse.
- Strained or tense relationships, frequent arguments between the caregiver and elderly person may also be signs of a problem.
It is also important that you stay aware and speak up if you suspect elder abuse or neglect. The elderly are especially vulnerable and are not always able to communicate their condition.
See our page on Reporting Abuse and Community Resources for more information on what to do if you believe abuse may be taking place. If the situation is serious, threatening, or dangerous, call 911 or your local police department for immediate help.