Hi, Fellow Community Members!
June is Elder Abuse Month. Unfortunately, some of our community’s seniors become victims of elder abuse and don’t have the power to speak up for themselves. That’s where vigilant caregivers, family members, friends, and neighbors can help.
Elder abuse can take on several different forms, and signs may not always be as obvious as you think. Here are different kinds of elder abuse and some common signs, as shared by the website Helpguide.org.
Physical Elder Abuse
Physical elder abuse is when a senior is intentionally hurt by someone. Signs can include unexplained injuries, broken bones or sprains, broken eyeglasses, signs of being restrained, and a caregiver’s refusal to allow you to see the senior alone.
Emotional Elder Abuse
Emotional elder abuse is hurting an older person in a way that causes pain or distress. Intimidation, humiliation, isolation of the elderly person, terrorizing, and habitually blaming the elderly person are common forms and signs of emotional abuse.
Sexual Elder Abuse
Sexual contact without the elderly person’s consent is considered sexual elder abuse. This can include both physical sex acts as well as forcing the person to watch sex acts or undress against their will. Signs of abuse include bruises around private areas and unexplained bleeding.
Elder neglect may not seem like elder abuse at first thought, but it actually constitutes more than 50% of reported elder abuse cases. “It can be intentional or unintentional, based on factors such as ignorance or denial that an elderly charge needs as much care as he or she does,” according to Helpguide.org. Signs of neglect include a dirty appearance, weight loss, bed sores, and unsafe living conditions.
Financial Elder Abuse
Unfortunately, this is another big area for seniors. If a caregiver or other person gains access to the elderly person’s funds, they could misuse checks or bank accounts, steal cash, forge signatures, and engage in identify theft. There are also common scams that target the bank accounts of those who are elderly. These include phony charities and announcements of a “prize” that the person must pay money to claim. Unpaid bills, unusual financial activity (including large withdrawals from accounts), items or cash missing, and unnecessary services or goods all can be signs of financial elder abuse.
You may recall our prior blog about a company called "Secure Aging" in our community that assists with financial and care management. Their services can help to prevent or avoid these situations altogether. Read more about them here: Secure Aging - Senior Services - Bradenton, FL
Healthcare Fraud and Abuse
This is yet another big area that affects seniors—and with its large senior population, Florida has experienced its share of news headlines related to healthcare fraud and abuse. This includes doctors and health professionals who do not provide healthcare but charge for it, overcharging for medical services, getting kickbacks to prescribe certain drugs, under/over medicating, and Medicaid fraud. Duplicate billings, evidence of over/under medication, and problems with a care facility all can be signs of healthcare fraud and abuse among the elderly.
If you believe an elderly loved one is experiencing an emergency caused by elder abuse, call 911, or call the Department of Children and Families Abuse Registry at 800-962-2873. At Home Helpers of Bradenton, we are obligated by law to report abuse.
Thanks for reading our blog. At Home Helpers of Bradenton, we look to not only make life easier but to also make a difference in our clients’ lives. It is truly an honor to have an opportunity to work with members of our community and we take the trust bestowed to us very seriously.
Contact Home Helpers of Bradenton, FL for care for your Senior Care needs
For information about how Home Helpers of Bradenton can serve you and your family, call 941-999-1960, email JMarsh@HomeHelpersHomeCare.com or visit Elder Care Bradenton FL - Home Helpers. Our senior home care services including homemaker care, companion care, personal care, Alzheimer's and dementia care, respite care, 24 hour care & live-in care, and monitoring and medical alert services are available in Manatee County and Sarasota County in and around the communities of Anna Maria, Bradenton, Bradenton Beach, Ellenton, Holmes Beach, Lakewood Ranch, Longboat Key, Myakka City, Palmetto, Parrish, and Sarasota. Our main office is located at 4230 59th St W, Ste C, Bradenton, FL 34209.