Creating And Protecting Your Legacy

What behavioral changes can indicate elder abuse?

On Behalf of | Feb 7, 2023 | Elder Law and Medicaid Planning |

When your loved ones enter a care facility, you expect the staff to provide quality care. Unfortunately, many people within vulnerable populations suffer neglect and abuse at the hands of their caregivers.

Understanding the emotional side effects of abuse can help you pinpoint it if it happens.

Your loved ones may begin to isolate themselves

If your loved one was talkative and social before, a sudden behavior change can indicate a problem. He or she may show signs of fear or may refuse to see you. Undergoing abuse can be confusing and lead to feelings of shame and anxiety. While most people hope that their loved ones would reach out to them, many become isolated instead.

Older adults may seem withdrawn or depressed

Elder abuse can result in serious mental illness, including severe depression. Adults who develop depressive symptoms may seem more withdrawn or quiet. They may show little to no interest in hobbies or events that used to bring them joy. If your loved one took part in activities in their care facility prior, but suddenly stops doing so, it could indicate depression.

Depression can also manifest with restlessness, insomnia or appetite loss. Look for signs of weight loss or lack of interest in food. When people struggle with depression, they can have a difficult time controlling their emotions. They may seem more irritable or cranky than normal.

When it comes to mistreatment and neglect, older adults can suffer from physical and emotional abuse when under the care of a facility or caregivers. Watch how staff interact with your loved one and how your loved one responds to staff.