According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), elder abuse is defined as “an intentional act or failure to act that causes a risk of harm to an older adult”. Elder abuse can come in many forms by many people. It could be medical abuse through improper medical care from your loved one’s doctor. It could be their neighbor. It could be their caregiver. It is important to encourage awareness of elder abuse to help protect this vulnerable population.
There are many types of elder abuse, such as physical abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, abandonment, sexual abuse, and more. Given the fear of elder abuse, many people worry about trusting someone to come into their home to care for a loved one. It can be tough to allow a stranger to enter your home without the worry of elder abuse.
Hiring an Accredited Caregiver
While many quality caregivers provide reliable non-medical home care with compassion and professionalism, some individuals take advantage of older adults and their family members.
With that in mind, it’s natural to be worried about hiring an in-home caregiver. Hiring an accredited caregiver agency that vets its employees can help ensure you get quality care for your loved one and prevent elder abuse.
Below, we’ll debunk some common elder abuse myths and facts.
Myth #1: Elder Abuse is Always Physical Violence
As mentioned above, elder abuse comes in various forms. There are many forms of abuse: physical, emotional/psychological, sexual, and financial. Often, when people hear “elder abuse” they automatically think it’s physical abuse. However, neglect is the most common type of elder abuse.
Neglect is a serious violation when it comes to senior care since many adults require life-saving medications and/or assistance with daily tasks. Learn the warning signs of neglect and reach out to isolated seniors within your community.
Myth #2: If An Adult Is Being Abused, He or She Will Report It Themselves
Anyone can be the victim of abuse – even headstrong, sharp-witted, tough people can be misled and mistreated. Abusers are often manipulative. There are many reasons for the silence surrounding abuse. Many times, abused individuals blame themselves for the abuser’s behavior. Abusers may take advantage of a person’s cognitive or physical state to get away with their behavior. If you suspect elder abuse, reach out. It may be enough to save an elder’s life.
Myth #3: Adult Protective Services Can Remove Adults From Their Homes
People who abuse seniors depend on adults believing that they will be forced to move out or sell their homes if reports of abuse are substantiated. This is not true, as long as the person is capable of making informed decisions. Around the country, adult protective services prioritize self-determination. Whether or not you move to an assisted living facility is up to you and your physician. If an elder wishes to age in place, in-home care services may be an option.
Myth #4: Strangers or Hired Help Are Usually the Perpetrators
More than two-thirds of people who abuse elders are related to the victim. While there is no excuse for abuse or neglect, caregiver stress sometimes causes relatives to lash out.
Given the burden, many family members feel overwhelmed and stressed when providing elder care. That’s why we recommend respite care services to help alleviate the burden periodically. In addition, complicated family relationships can be a barrier to compassionate care.
Understanding these common myths can help you better understand the need for preventing elder abuse. Selecting quality and accredited home care agencies, such as Simply Compassion, can help you rest assured that your loved one is in good hands.
To learn more, check out this excellent resource. This is a state-by-state resource guide to provide help for people who are victims of abuse or people who suspect abuse in their communities.
Simply Compassion Can Help
At Simply Compassion, we understand the worry many families have surrounding elder abuse. To protect your family, we follow a rigorous hiring process to ensure credible, compassionate staff. Our reputation in the community was built upon hiring only the best in-home caregivers for the most compassionate home care possible.