Learn How to Recognize the Signs of Elder Care Abuse

elder care abuse - burlington dementia care

Learn how to identify the signs of elder care abuse and protect your loved ones.

While it goes without saying that abusing an older adult is something that would never even occur to most people, it’s a tragically typical occurrence in the U.S. Elder care abuse happens in many ways, from emotional to physical, and it affects the most frail and vulnerable among us.

Considering that elder care abuse is typically a voiceless problem, it’s crucial for families and friends of older individuals to be familiar with the symptoms and signs of elder abuse so as to protect their older loved ones. Our home care specialists have put together some of the warning signs that may signal elder abuse. 

Physical Abuse:

  • Signs of injury like scars, bruises, or welts, especially if they appear symmetrically on two sides of the person’s body
  • Broken bones or sprains
  • Drug overdoses or regularly missed medications
  • Broken eyeglasses
  • Signs of being restrained, including red marks or bruises on the wrists
  • Caregivers refusing to let the senior be seen alone

Emotional Abuse:

  • Controlling behavior from the caregiver, such as:
    • Screaming at or threatening the senior
    • Humiliating or teasing the senior
    • Ignoring the older adult
    • Distancing the senior from friends and relatives
  • Behavior that imitates dementia, such as rocking, sucking, or mumbling to himself or herself


  • Dramatic weight loss or malnourishment
  • Physical problems, such as bed sores, that have not been treated
  • Unsanitary living conditions
  • Neglected personal cleanliness
  • Improper clothing or covering for the weather
  • Perilous living conditions (no running water or heat; defective electrical wiring, other fire threats)
  • Desertion of the older person in a public place

The early warning signs of elder abuse may be difficult to spot and may seem to be symptoms of Alzheimer’s or increased frailty. Alternatively, a caregiver who is abusing the older person might explain signs of abuse away. To help prevent abuse, be sure to visit and call senior loved ones often and be on the lookout for any changes in the senior’s personality or behavior. If any signs of elder abuse are observed or suspected, they must be reported immediately.

Advanced Home Health Care can help families keep senior loved ones safe, happy, and healthy. As the top-rated home health care company Burlington, IA and the surrounding area has to offer, we can provide in-home care services, including specialized Alzheimer’s care, to ensure that older individuals are safe and well cared for. Contact us at 800.791.7785 for a professional assessment or to learn more about our Burlington dementia care and senior care services.

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