As we age, we may need to depend on others to help us with day-to-day care. Unfortunately, some caregivers hurt the older people in their care. Older people can be physically harmed. They may be neglected. And their money may be stolen. We call this "elder abuse." And it can happen to anyone.
Elderly people may be abused in their own homes, in assisted living facilities and in nursing homes. Some are abused when they move in with family members. Not all understand they are being abused. And those who do may have trouble getting help.
Some abuse is visible. Physical abuse can leave bruises and scars. A person who is neglected or abandoned may live in dirty and unsafe conditions. Elderly people are also abused in ways that are harder to spot. They can be abused emotionally or sexually. They can be victims of financial fraud. That happens when family members or caretakers steal their money, or when they are overcharged for services.
If you suspect an elderly person is being abused, step in and help. Talk to them privately. Ask questions. Offer to take them somewhere safe, like a local adult protective services agency. And report the abuse to the authorities.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.