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FROM THE EDITOR'S PEN  / Good Medicine For All /  Editorial List

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 Good Medicine For All

I know of no more dedicated people than the professional caregivers I have met over the past fourteen years of publishing Today’s Caregiver magazine and caregiver.com. In fact, when the news breaks about elder abuse, it is usually the professional caregivers who are first to email or write me with advice and tips for family caregivers. The insidious thing about elder abuse is that it can be committed by anyone with financial or physical access to our loved ones: friend, professional or family member. Unfortunately, there have been some high profile cases of abuse in the news recently, so here are some of the best advice I have seen:

  • Bruises, pressure marks, broken bones, abrasions, and burns may be an indication of physical abuse, neglect, or mistreatment.
  • Unexplained withdrawal from normal activities, a sudden change in alertness, and unusual depression may be indicators of emotional abuse.
  • Bruises around the breasts or genital area can occur from sexual abuse.
  • Sudden changes in financial situations may be the result of exploitation.
  • Bedsores, unattended medical needs, poor hygiene, and unusual weight loss are indicators of possible neglect.
  • Behavior such as belittling, threats, and other uses of power and control by spouses are indicators of verbal or emotional abuse.
  • Strained or tense relationships, frequent arguments between the caregiver and elderly person are also signs.
(from ncea.aoa.gov)

Where to report abuse  

There have been some recent technological advances which allow us to monitor our loved ones living alone, including Avaak’s Vue personal video network and Tender Tidings , a 2008 Caregiver Friendly Award recipient

Whatever you do, being aware, partnering with those who care for your loved ones, and being diligent is the best medicine to prevent elder abuse from occurring on your watch.

 

 

Gary Barg
Editor-in-Chief

gary@caregiver.com