You may have seen horrific reports about elder abuse on the news or in the papers.
If you have recently moved your parents into a nursing home, you might worry about the prospect of someone abusing them. Estimates suggest around 10% of over-65-year-olds experience some form of abuse.
Before you drive back to the nursing home and pull your parent out of there, remember that this includes financial abuse, which you should be able to eliminate easily. Even including that, there is a 90% chance your parent will be fine.
Why does elder abuse often go unnoticed?
There are several reasons that older adults in nursing homes are particularly vulnerable to abuse:
- They may be unable to express themselves: Certain illnesses can make communicating harder.
- They may not be believed if they report it: People may prefer to believe an experienced caregiver over a resident with dementia.
- They may be embarrassed to say anything: Admitting someone has taken advantage of them may make them feel “stupid,” even though it is not their fault.
- They are often alone with a caregiver: Caregivers often work with residents on a one-to-one basis. While it may be more private than having a team of people bathing you, it can cause issues.
- They are isolated from their family: However much you might intend to visit, life can get in the way. Work and children can make visiting regularly difficult. If you live far away, it will be harder still.
If you suspect something is wrong, seek advice. While you might be unsure, it is better to take steps to check everything is okay rather than risk elder abuse continuing.