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Elder Abuse - The 'Hidden' Secret in Homes of the Elderly

by Amy, January 22, 2016

elder abuse

Whether a family member or professional caregiver, the unfortunate truth is that many elderly people are abused in their own homes - whether physically, mentally, or even financially. If you have an elderly loved one in the San Francisco area, it's important to pay close attention. Elder abuse is one of those "hidden" secrets that family members often aren't aware of. If you are a family member who cares for an aging parent or grandparent, you may already be aware that there's a fine line between providing the love, care, and attention your loved one deserves, and being completely exhausted with little time to tend to your own life.

Stress can build up before you're aware of the problem

Most family caregivers are females, whether a spouse of a senior or an adult child. Not only do caregivers focus on helping those who are aging with dressing, bathing, and cooking/eating, they may also make sure that medications are taken on time, do some light housekeeping, run errands, take their loved one to appointments or social activities, even make sure the bills are paid. It's no surprise that those who care for elderly loved ones often become stressed, anxious, or even depressed! Feeling fatigued and suffering from insomnia or poor nutrition are common as well. While most caregivers are good at coping with everything, some resort to abuse.

Caregivers - what to be aware of

Certain studies indicate a spouse caring for an aging husband/wife is more likely to inflict abuse than an adult child who is a caregiver.

Is your role as a caregiver a burden? Many adult children or spouses feel that all care is placed on their shoulders alone - siblings or adult children are too busy, and don't share responsibility in providing care. When substantial care is needed and one person shoulders the load, the risk of abuse increases.

Unresolved issues from the past. When a senior and the family member who acts as the primary caregiver have unresolved issues from the past, there is often more pressure on the relationship which may result in physical or emotional abuse.

A caregiver with low self-esteem or those who fear that one day they will snap should consider these warning signals. Surprisingly, about one-fifth of caregivers are concerned about potential abuse of those in their care. This is particularly problematic if the caregiver has been abused by the individual being cared for.

In most situations, the simple solution to the stress, anxiety, and frustration family caregivers feel is in obtaining additional care from an agency providing compassionate, highly trained in-home caregivers. Every person who cares for a senior needs a break, time to rest, participate in social activities, spend time with their own families, and rejuvenate. It may also be beneficial to attend support groups that focus on coping skills.

If you're in need of a caring, compassionate in-home caregiver for an aging loved one in the San Francisco area, count on Care Indeed for not only the care your aging loved one deserves, but peace of mind for yourself and your family.