How to Identify Signs of Elder Abuse | Security Alarm

How to Identify Signs of Elder Abuse Posted on April 5, 2017 by

elderly people being served foodEducation is the key to freedom, and as a security company it is our hope to keep as many people educated and safe as is possible. Abuse is a word that many associate with women and children, and rightfully so. However, in the US, 1-2 million citizens over the age of 65 have been subject to elder abuse by a caregiver, and only 1 out of every 14 are ever discovered by authorities.

Elder abuse is not a term that is not often heard, and it is discussed even less. It is important for family members to keep this issue at the forefront of their minds as they choose a nursing home or an assisted living facility for a loved one.

Types of Elder Abuse

Physical Abuse

This is any type of physical harm such as slapping, hitting, roughly grabbing, and forceful restraint. Abuse can also occur when residents are kept from consuming food or drink.

Sexual Abuse

This abuse occurs when a resident is forced to engage in non-consensual sexual acts.

Emotional Abuse (Verbal)

Emotional abuse is intimidation by way of yelling and threats. It can also take the form of humiliation, ridicule and blaming. Essentially it is any damage caused to an adult by abusive words.

Psychological Abuse (Non-Verbal)

This form of abuse is very similar to emotional abuse. Psychological abuse may take the form of ignoring/the silent treatment, isolating the resident from others, etc.


Neglect occurs when basic care giving needs are not met. This can be intentional or unintentional, but it is neglect all the same.


Stealing checks, cash, credit cards, identity, and the forging of checks are just a few of the forms of fraud that happen to elderly people, especially those living in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.


Lastly it is important to remember that the elderly often fall subject subject to scams. Sometimes those close to them will pretend to collect money for a charity donation. Other times, an anonymous person will tell them they’ve won a prize but need to collect money to receive it. Every year, thousands of elderly people fall victim to scams.

Elder Abuse in Assisted Living Facilities

elderly man being helped by a nurseIt is important that family members and the elderly themselves keep these different types of elder abuse scenarios in mind as they progress in years. It would also serve them well to keep these scams in mind as a nursing or assisted living facility is selected.

Signs that Elder Abuse Is Occurring at a Nursing Home

If you have an elderly parent or loved one, here are a few elder abuse signs to be on the lookout for:

  • Physical Abuse: Bruises or Broken bones.
  • Neglect: Dirty clothes or Soiled diapers and undergarments
  • Verbal or Emotional Abuse: Withdrawal and apathy.
  • Sexual Abuse: Bruises and pain around private areas.
  • Financial Exploitation: Bills not being paid. Missing cash or money.

How to Prevent Elder Abuse

Elder abuse is a problem, but it’s not limited to nursing facilities and retirement homes. Sadly, the majority of abuse is caused by family members. It is important that family members, employees, co-workers, and managers be aware of these issues and look out for any signs of elder abuse.

Contact us if you’d like to learn more about home alarm systems for the elderly or smart home security cameras that can help keep an eye on activity happening in an elderly person’s home.