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Possible signs of elder abuse

| Jun 23, 2020 | Elder Abuse

The fact that many seniors experience diminishing health and a decrease in self sufficiency makes them a target of abusers or scammers. While many seniors live in the care of people who love them and who would never harm them, there are also many elderly persons who are at the mercy of abusers seeking to enrich themselves at the expense of a senior citizen. 

Many older people victimized by abuse do not admit it. However, abused seniors might show behavioral changes that indicate something is wrong. A family member or a friend may notice these changes, which could lead them to try to seek help for the person they care about. 

Signs of undue influence 

As Consumer Reports explains, a person may have cause for worry if a senior relative or friend suddenly has a new best friend and starts exhibiting unusual behavior. The senior may become isolated from family members and friends. When the senior does have contact with others, the senior may always have the new friend along. These signs may demonstrate that a malicious party may be unduly influencing the senior. 

Verbal and behavioral signs 

According to the American Bar Association, a senior could give off verbal cues during questioning that may indicate that the senior has suffered abuse. A senior may hesitate to answer questions or will stammer when speaking. If the senior does provide an answer to a question about his or her current personal safety, the answer may come defensively or incoherently. 

Seniors can also exhibit nervous behavior that could indicate abuse. A senior may turn away and not give eye contact. The elderly person may also squirm or fidget, giving off signs of restlessness when discussing a sensitive topic. Some seniors physically shift away from a caregiver or a relative who is present, perhaps indicating fear of that person. These behaviors may manifest without prior indication or explanation.