ARTICLES / General / Is It Elder Abuse? /
By Hilary Wright, Staff Writer
Although itís no excuse, caregiver
abuse, either by a family member or by a professional,
often occurs due to caregiver burnout, caregiver stress,
substance abuse, emotional and mental issues of their
own, economic conditions or living arrangements. This
doesnít mean that all caregivers are abusers, because
very few are; but itís better to be informed and
educated for the safety of your loved one. If itís a
family member who is a caregiver for someone disabled or
elderly, you can take some preventative measures in
order to prevent it from occurring, or to at least
notice it at the very earliest stages. Educate yourself
on the signs and symptoms of caregiver stress; make sure
the caregiver is receiving help from others, so they
donít have to do everything on their own, which can
quickly lead to caregiver burnout; and investigate other
living arrangements, in order to take an elderly loved
one out of a toxic, ultimately unsafe environment.
Elderly people donít have to be a target for others,
especially by those who are supposed to care for them.
Older people can also take some important steps on their
own in order to make sure they remain safe from abuse of
Donít live with a family member who
is or has been abusive in the past.
Speak to friends often, especially
when you feel as though you are being taken
Review your will. If changes are
made, be sure it is because you want them to take
place, not because of pressure from family members.
Have friends and/or neighbors visit
Seek legal advice when making
Have your Social Security or pension
check deposited directly into your account.
Speak directly to your attorney
first before signing a Power of Attorney.
Donít sign anything until youíve
read it. If you have difficulty understanding the
legal terms, make sure to seek out an attorney and
have them explain it to you.