As a caregiver, you cannot always spend your entire day with your loved one.  We often employ others to serve as a caregiver when we are unable to.  When doing so, we want to make sure we are protecting our loved one.  It is important that we watch for signs of abuse in order to protect.  Abuse comes in many forms: physical, emotional, neglect, sexual, and others.  Physical and sexual abuse are visible in a lot of ways, but neglect and emotional abuse are not as easy to indicate.

There are several ways to indicate neglect and emotional abuse:

  • Care recipient who lives in a facility being left alone or ignored by staff members
  • Residents in care facilities with aggressive tendencies being left alone
  • An intoxicated or sleeping facility staff member
  • Failure by any facility staff member to notify about medical problems immediately after they occur
  • Prolonged lapse in time before treatment is given for medical problems
  • Caregiver not allowing the care recipient to talk for self
  • Dramatic change in the care recipient’s behavior
  • Care recipient exhibiting withdrawal or depression

Be aware of the signs and keep your eyes open.   In the event you need to report a case of abuse, contact the Adult Protective Services office, your local Department on Aging, or Long-Term Care Ombudsman’s office in your area.  You can also contact Eldercare Locator (1-800-677-1116) to connect you to your state or local adult protective services division.

-Nicole B., community speaker