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Senior Living: Warning Signs Your Loved One Might Be in Danger

Senior Living: Warning Signs Your Loved One Might be in Danger Easy Climber Blog

As your parents or elderly loved one age, senior living options suddenly become a priority. An inevitable part of aging is that we will need assistance with specific tasks at some point. For some Seniors, assisted senior living centers can provide the support they need. And then for another group of seniors, they are fortunate enough be able to stay at home and receive assistance through an in-home caretaker. While both of these scenarios present a different setting, this doesn’t mean that either of these options eliminates the risk of abuse.

Of the population of senior adults aged 60 or older, approximately 1 in 10 have been a victim of some form of abuse, according to the National Council on Aging. Some estimates on elder abuse report that nearly 5 million are abused each year, with only 1 in 14 of these instances reported to authorities. These statistics are both shocking and sobering, and leave those of us with elderly parents or loved ones in fear for their safety. Abused seniors are at a 300% higher risk of death than those who have not been abused, meaning the safety and protection of your loved ones should be your top concern when choosing a caretaker or outside help.

The best way to ensure the safety of your loved ones and to avoid an incident of abuse is to take the preventative measure of educating yourself on the warning signs that your loved one might be in danger, whether at the hands of their caretaker or an assisted senior living facility:

The caregiver is adamant that they are present during discussions with your loved ones.

When specifically dealing with an in-home caregiver, the risk of abuse can even be higher because it is just the senior and the caregiver alone for the majority of the time. Compared to an assisted living facility, there are no other patients and caregivers around to notice any warning signs. Therefore, this leaves the only person seeing the abuse on a regular basis the one being abused. This reason alone is what makes proper education of warning signs so crucial in the health of your loved ones.

If the caretaker seems never to leave your loved one’s side when you are present and having discussions with them, this could be a cause for worry – or at least some curiosity. The reasoning for their constant presence could be that they fear the elderly individual will share details of the abuse should they leave the room.

The caregiver always gives a clean bill of health.

Of course, you want your loved one to be in good health, so this can make it difficult disputing a suspiciously consistent clean bill of health. However, what poses as one of the greatest successes could just be a cover-up. Often, caregivers who have been abusing their clients will use a clean bill of health as a ploy to keep family members from taking their loved one to the doctor for a second opinion, where a sign of abuse might get noticed.

Your loved one is more withdrawn or depressed.

Anxiety, depression, and being withdrawn are all symptoms that can arise or worsen as we age. Seniors often find themselves more tired than before, physically hurting, or just realizing they aren’t able to do the things they were able to do before. All of these symptoms combined can lead to depression. However, if you begin to notice a significant increase in depression or they’re acting withdrawn while under the care of an in-home caregiver, this could be a warning sign.
Having someone with them whose job is to take care of them, keep them company, and assist them with daily tasks should be lifting their spirits, not dampening them.

When it comes time to make that decision for your loved ones of senior care or a senior living facility, take that extra step to check in on them regularly and monitor any changes that could signify a warning sign. After all, their life could depend on it.

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