Abuse can occur anywhere, including at your senior parent’s home or at an assisted living community. Seniors suffering with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia are targets for abuse, as their disease may prevent them from reporting or recognizing abusive behavior. Both family and professional caregivers are most often the abusers of seniors with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, and may seniors even fall prey to strangers willing to take advantage of their cognitive impairment.
Abuse comes in many forms, and it’s important to be able to identify abuse, especially if your aging loved one cannot identify and report abusive behavior. The Alzheimer’s Association identifies abuse in many forms:
- Physical: Causing physical pain or injury.
- Emotional: Verbal assaults, threats of abuse, harassment and intimidation.
- Neglect: Failure to provide necessities, including food, clothing, shelter, medical care or a safe environment.
- Confinement: Restraining or isolating the person.
- Financial: The misuse or withholding of the person's financial resources (money, property) to his or her disadvantage or the advantage of someone else.
- Sexual abuse: Touching, fondling or any sexual activity when the person is unable to understand, unwilling to consent, threatened or physically forced.
- Willful deprivation: Willfully denying the person medication, medical care, food, shelter or physical assistance, and thereby exposing the individual with Alzheimer's to the risk of physical, mental or emotional harm.
- Self neglect: Due to lack of insight and cognitive changes, a person with Alzheimer's may be unable to safely and adequately provide for day-to-day needs, and may be at risk for harm, falls, wandering and/or malnutrition.
Signs of abuse include:
- Bruises, pressure marks, broken bones, abrasions and burns may be an indication of physical abuse, neglect or mistreatment.
- Unexplained withdrawal from normal activities, a sudden change in alertness or unexpected depression may be an indicator of emotional abuse.
- Bruises around the breasts or genital area may be a sign of sexual abuse.
- Sudden changes in financial situations may be the result of exploitation.
- Bedsores, unattended medical needs, poor hygiene and unusual weight loss may indicate neglect.
- Belittling, threats or other uses of power by spouses, family members or others may indicate verbal or emotional abuse.
- Strained or tense relationships and frequent arguments between the caregiver and person with disease may be a sign of abuse. Abuse may originate from either a caregiver or a person with dementia. A person with dementia may exhibit more aggressive behaviors as the disease progresses and cognitive function and ability to reason decline.
If you believe that your senior parent suffering with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia is being abused by a caregiver or family member, report the incident and remove the person from your loved one’s care.
If you’re seeking compassionate, professional care for your loved one living with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, call SYNERGY HomeCare Corona, Riverside or Anaheim Hills. At SYNERGY HomeCare, we know how hard it is to trust someone with the health, safety and happiness of your senior parent.
We provide home health caregivers that are bonded and insured, experienced, dependable and screened through a national criminal background check. Our home health caregivers receive ongoing training and performance assessments. You want an experienced, responsible home health caregiver. You want to be involved in your loved one’s care. Through care logs, active communication and care coordination, we keep you in the loop to ensure that your senior parent is happy, healthy and safe.
About SYNERGY HomeCare of Anaheim Hills
SYNERGY HomeCare of Anaheim Hills is the name you can trust in Anaheim, Anaheim Hills, Yorba Linda, Tustin, Santa Ana, Orange and Placentia for personal home care. SYNERGY HomeCare of Anaheim Hills is part of a national franchise of non-medical home care offices dedicated to providing exceptional and affordable service to anyone of any age. SYNERGY HomeCare caregivers are available 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, to those in need - including seniors, expectant moms, those suffering from sports injuries and debilitating illnesses, and more. SYNERGY HomeCare of Corona & Riverside can be found online at /agencies/ca/anaheim-hills/ca25 . The location also hosts active social media pages on Facebook and Twitter. Ken and Anna can be reached at 714- 706-1613 and [email protected].