The NSW Task Force on Abuse of Older People states as many as 5 percent of senior Australians over the age of 65 are being abused in some way. This may alarm family caregivers in North Coast who are doing their best to keep their elderly loved ones safe and comfortable at home. However, it’s important to keep a watchful eye on your loved one and pay attention to these potential warning signs of mistreatment.
Bruises, sores, or other physical injuries are the most obvious warning signs of abuse. The bruises may appear in clusters, or those on different parts of the body may be in various stages of healing. Another sign of physical abuse occurs when medications last for longer than they are supposed to, which could mean they are purposely being withheld to cause pain or discomfort. Your loved one’s doctor can help you determine if your loved one’s medications are being taken properly.
Fear or Anxiety
An elderly person who can’t communicate well may not be able to tell you when abuse occurs, but may develop behaviours that reflect abuse. For example, your loved one may become depressed, anxious, or have irrational fears. Additionally, seniors being abused may avoid hugs or other forms of touching or experience sudden mood swings. Anxiety often worsens when the abuser is nearby or when his or her name is mentioned in a conversation.
Sudden behavioural changes are common when a senior is being abused. For instance, your loved one may begin wetting the bed or sucking his or her thumb. Other common behavioural effects include changes in eating or sleeping patterns, increased aggression, and frequent nightmares. All behavioural changes should be evaluated to rule out potential abuse.
Signs of Neglect
Neglect occurs when your loved one isn’t receiving the North Coast elderly care he or she needs to remain healthy. Warning signs of neglect include weight loss, an unkempt appearance, and unsanitary living conditions. For instance, if your loved one is hungry or thirsty every time you visit, he or she may not be receiving adequate nutrition. If your loved one is bedridden, signs of neglect can include bedsores, rashes, dirty linens, and failure to provide medications. Neglect can range from mild to severe, but all forms should be addressed immediately to ensure your loved one remains healthy and safe.
Your loved one’s daily safety can be increased by hiring an hourly or live-in caregiver in North Coast. At Home Care Assistance, our trusted and compassionate caregivers can monitor your loved one, report potential signs of abuse, and also help with many important daily tasks. For more information and to schedule a free consultation, call one of our experienced Care Managers at (02) 6646 3527 today.