New York, NY (PRWEB) February 23, 2010
The National Center on Elder Abuse reports that between 1 and 2 million Americans age 65 or older have been physically injured, emotionally abused or financially exploited by a caregiver. These instances are not limited to nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Many senior citizens are abused in their own homes, by people they know. All Home Security, a leading online resource for home alarm systems and home security monitoring, offers tips to identify and prevent domestic abuse or exploitation of the elderly.
Know the warning signs—While the signs of physical abuse are fairly easy to spot, many forms of elder abuse are not always obvious. Stay informed and aware of all the possibilities. In cases of neglect, victims will likely show signs of filth, lack of medical care, expired or empty medication bottles, pressure ulcers, or malnutrition. For emotional abuse, symptoms could include withdrawal from normal activities or relationships, unexplained changes in demeanor, alertness or other behavioral patterns.
Beware of finances—Elder abuse can also occur in the form of financial exploitation. This involves theft of money or property, forgery of checks or other financial documents as well as scams and fraud. Signs of financial abuse include suddenly altered wills, depletion of accounts, unusual withdrawals or checks, loss of property and excessive gift-giving.
Upgrade home security—Installing home alarm systems with remote activation and security cameras can provide evidence of crime while serving as deterrents for potential abusers. Security systems can help empower elderly people within their homes, giving them control over their own safety.
Stay in touch—Call and visit loved ones often. Take an interest in older neighbors and acquaintances. A simple conversation or visit could reveal warning signs. Community volunteer services can also play a vital role in the protection of the elderly. Organizations such as Meals on Wheels exist to help seniors with their basic needs at home and can be an important check-in each week.
Domestic elder abuse is widely believed to be one of the most under-reported crimes in America—with only an estimated 1 in 14 incidents being reported to authorities. With an elderly population that grows with each generation, this is an issue with the potential to affect nearly everyone. Do not hesitate to contact authorities after any sign of abuse.