Thousand Oaks Senior Care Experts Recognize the Signs of Elder Abuse
Aging adults may suffer from more than one kind of elder abuse. Those who have dementia are especially vulnerable. Pegasus professionals providing senior care in Thousand Oaks are aware of the types and signs of abuse.
Most family caregivers do not intentionally abuse their elders. They lack training and become easily overwhelmed. They often don’t know that their actions slip into abusiveness.
Our senior caregivers in Thousand Oaks know that abuse doesn’t discriminate. Victims can be of any race, religion, sex, or culture. Abusers can be family members or strangers.
It’s easy to think that physical abuse is the only way individuals can be hurt. However, other activities also harm the elderly. Additional types of abuse include:
Any action, or lack of action, that threatens the health or well-being of an individual is abusive.
The abuser can also inflict physical harm that isn’t visible. The victim may be restrained or confined. Other abusers intentionally administer drugs incorrectly.
Abuse Takes Many Forms
Financial abuse is any misappropriation of a person’s resources. Common practices include, but are not limited to:
- Charging for services that aren’t performed
- Forging a signature on checks or documents
- Identity theft
- Misusing credit cards
- Stealing cash, medications, or property
Seniors are often victims of telemarketers and television charlatans.
The majority of reported elder abuse cases that are due to neglect. Neglect can involve refusing to:
- Prepare healthy meals on a regular schedule
- Help with personal hygiene
- Assist mobility if the person is physically impaired
- Administer medications as prescribed
- Ensure the personal safety of the individual
- Keep living quarters clean and sanitary
Caregivers that have responsibility for the financial affairs may not be good money managers.
Psychological abuse creates emotional distress in an individual. It’s the result of verbal violence and leaves hidden wounds. A caregiver can become angry and hurl insults or threats.
Individuals may become psychologically controlled when intimidated or harassed. They learn to fear for their safety. Humiliating a person for their lack of ability to care for themselves is another form of emotional abuse.
Any non-consensual sexual activity is inappropriate. Seniors who have dementia are not competent to give consent. Any unwanted attempt to sexually arouse the senior or satisfy a sexual need of the caregiver is abuse.
Millions of seniors are subjected to abuse every year. The United Nations instituted World Elder Abuse Awareness Day to shed light on the problem of abuse. The goal is to encourage solutions that will reduce the occurrence of elder abuse.
Awareness Day fell on June 15, 2018. For those providing senior care in Thousand Oaks, every day is awareness day. Any abuse on any day needs to be recognized and stopped.
Pegasus Home Health Care Professionals Are Trained to Recognize Elder Abuse
Seniors are often too embarrassed or intimidated to tell someone they are abused. Many are also afraid of losing their independence. They explain away any visible signs by saying they fell or bumped into something.
Pegasus is a nurse owned and operated company. We know what the signs of abuse are and what to look for. We also know how to talk to our patients to learn the truth of what’s happening.
One of the first things we notice is self-neglect. Abused victims may be depressed, grieving, or their medical condition is worsening without cause. They no longer take care of their hygiene, appearance, or health.
We assess the senior’s home environment. If injuries really are due to falling or bumps, we work at making the home safe. We network with local agencies to obtain any needed safety equipment or services if necessary.
Other signs of abuse a senior care professional is trained to observe include determining if the patient uncharacteristically:
- Acts depressed or withdrawn
- Has unexplained bruises or wounds
- Has become violent or acts traumatized
- Has trouble sleeping
- Is losing weight
- Stops seeing friends
We know the symptoms of over- or under-medicating to control patients.
If medication instructions aren’t clear, we confirm the dosage and timing with the patient’s physician. We also are aware of dietary guidelines and whether they’re being followed.
Safety Is Primary
Our priority is the safety of our patients. We know seniors prefer to live independently in their Thousand Oaks home. We do everything we can to make their preference a reality.
Pegasus is a licensed Home Care Organization and a Joint Commission Accredited Home Health Care organization. We have consistently provided quality care to our clients since 1994. Our adherence to the highest ethical and clinical standards has made us an industry leader.
Our team tailors our services to fit the needs of each patient. Individuals are treated with dignity and respect for their privacy regardless of their medical needs. We work one-on-one with our patients to improve their quality of life.
When we discover indications of elder abuse, we take the appropriate steps to stop it. That can range from counseling for family abusers to contacting the authorities. Pegasus senior care in Thousand Oaks is here to help elderly individuals stay healthy and safe.