5 Signs of Elder Abuse


Caregiver Conflicts

When you've spent your whole life used to independence, it's reasonable to expect that you might become resentful when you suddenly have to rely on other people for daily activities like bathing. Such is often the case with caregiver and their elderly charges. This can manifest in the form of arguments as the elder struggles to adapt to the new situation and the caregiver struggles to balance understanding with necessity. In addition, some conditions common in the elderly, such as dementia, may cause them to be angry because they're confused about what's going on.

In some cases, these conflicts may be the result of a new friend or newly emerged relative showing up to "help" the elderly person. Although initially their intentions seem good, they may also have taken charge simply because they see an opportunity to exploit or abuse the elder. If the elder or family or friends feels like the new arrival is taking advantage, conflicts can quickly balloon.

If there's more than one person involved in the elder's care, you may be given contradictory stories as to what's going on. A common sign that there's something fishy is going on is if you notice the caregiver issuing threats (such as taking away much-loved privileges) or humiliating his or her charge (by making fun of the elder's incontinence in public, for example).

If you feel tension with the caregiver when you try to discuss incidents that worry you, or if an elder is in constant conflict with his or her caregiver, it's time to evaluate the situation and make sure it's a healthy one.