Protect Your Loved Ones: Signs of Elder Abuse to Look Out For

by | May 29, 2024

Around 10 percent of Canadian seniors are victims of crime, mainly property crimes, which shows their vulnerability to exploitation and theft while living at home. Up to one percent suffer from violent crimes or physical abuse, highlighting the serious issue of elder mistreatment that includes physical and emotional trauma. On average 4 to 5 percent of seniors face some form of abuse after turning 65 years old, ranging from financial and emotional to physical abuse. These statistics highlight the widespread nature of elder abuse and the urgent need for measures to be implemented that protect seniors, raise awareness, and ensure they live their later years safely and with dignity with senior home care support.


Common Types of Elder Abuse

There are five primary categories of elder abuse, each with its own set of characteristics and impacts on the victim. These categories are crucial to understand for anyone looking to identify and address abusive situations effectively.

  • Physical: The deliberate application of force leading to pain, injury, or impairment. This includes the wrongful use of drugs, restraints, or confinement.
  • Emotional: The treatment of an older adult that leads to emotional or psychological harm. This may be exhibited through actions such as yelling, making threats, ridiculing, isolating, or attributing blame.
  • Sexual: Engaging in sexual contact with an elderly individual without their consent.
  • Neglect: Neglecting essential needs including nutrition, hydration, healthcare, hygiene, consistent medication, and emotional support.
  • Financial: Misuse of an elder’s finances or property without permission.


Self-Inflicted Abuse

Elder abuse can also be a result of self-neglect. Our loved ones might believe they can maintain their independence, failing to realize that their quality of life is deteriorating.

To ensure they are engaging in effective self-care, consider the following strategies:

  • Regularly check in and ask friends and neighbors to help monitor as well. Are they experiencing significant weight fluctuations? Is their living environment well-maintained and healthy? Are their medications clearly labeled and being taken as prescribed?
  • Ensure that the contact details for healthcare providers are readily available and easy to find within the home.
  • Research senior centers providing daytime activities, including transportation services for pick-up and drop-off.
  • Consider joining companionship and in home care services, where a qualified professional can assist with the care of your loved ones.
  • As a last resort, explore the option of legal guardianship. This ensures that, in cases where they are genuinely incapable of self-care, you possess the legal authority to intervene for their benefit.


Preventing Elder Abuse & Neglect

If you’re a caregiver and sense a risk of harm or neglect—either to yourself or others—support is accessible. Are you struggling with anger management? Have people expressed worries about your actions? Or maybe you’re feeling detached or swamped? Acknowledging the issue is a critical first step toward seeking assistance and averting potential abuse.

Here are some strategies to assist you in preventing elder abuse or neglect:

  • Ask friends, family, or community health care services for help, or consider enrolling in an adult daycare program. It is okay to ask for help and admit you need a break.
  • Prioritize your well-being by ensuring adequate rest, a balanced diet, consistent exercise, and attending to any of your healthcare requirements.
  • Seek assistance from a qualified therapist to help with depression or any substance abuse.
  • Seek out a support network for those who are caring for elderly individuals.


Reach Out to Parkwood Home Care

If you or a loved one are in need of assistance with elder care, consider reaching out to Parkwood Home Care. Our team of qualified professionals provides personalized home care Halifax for seniors in the comfort of their own homes. We offer a range of services including personal care, medication management, and companionship. By choosing Parkwood Home Care, you can rest assured that your loved one will receive the best quality care and support. Don’t hesitate to reach out and see how we can help improve the quality of life for your elderly loved one.

Lorna MacMillan

Lorna MacMillan, President & Founder

Lorna MacMillan is the President and Founder of Parkwood Home Care. Lorna is a thought leader in the areas of Adult Ageing, Psychology and Adult Education . Through years of experience with seniors, individuals disabilities and a strong passion for helping others, Lorna was able to create Parkwood Home Care into the care service it is today.