Yesterday evening I was very fortunate to have been invited to a teleconference on caregiving and the prevention of elder abuse at the Senior’s Resource Centre in St. John’s.    I had the opportunity to listen to some wonderful speakers talk about how to prevent elder abuse and support caregivers.

A lot of people don’t realize that caregiving is very stressful for the person doing the job.  It requires sacrificing a lot of your social life and time for your hobbies to be able to look after somebody twenty four hours a day.  When caring for a senior, caregivers are often responsible for:

  • Bathing the senior
  • Making meals for the senior
  • Helping the senior be mobile and walk around
  • Making sure the senior maintains a healthy social life
  • Administering medication
  • Helping the senior in and out of bed

Seniors sometimes develop illnesses that make them unable to live on their own and require 24 hour care.  This would obviously be stressful on a caregiver.  People looking after seniors may develop a loss of self identity, chronic stress, high blood pressure, and even depression.  However, there are many rewards in caring for a senior.  Caregivers may feel needed, even loved, by whom they are caring for, and they get to feel good about helping someone else, which is very gratifying.

Sometimes, elders are very unfortunately abused by their caregivers.  They may be, for various reasons, unable to defend themselves against abuse.  This is why I chose raising awareness about elder abuse as my platform.  Signs of elder abuse include:

  • Senior’s money/belongings go missing
  • Unusual banking activities with senior
  • Older adult shows signs of neglect or lack of money for needed items
  • Senior is homeless or “invisibly” homeless, like sleeping on a couch or in a garage
  • Senior is isolated
  • Senior shows signs of depression
  • Senior shows fear around suspected abuser
  • Dirty clothing
  • Poorly kept living space
  • Lack of needs and/or comforts of living
  • Repeated “accidents”
  • Unexplained injuries

Examples of elder abuse are:

  • Theft of senior’s belongings
  • Misuse by a person given the power to act or sign for the senior
  • Obtaining money and/or things by threatening the senior
  • Making fun of the older person
  • Frightens the senior on purpose
  • Treats the senior like a child
  • Threatens to take away or takes away emotional support and/or love
  • Failure to provide senior with basic needs and/or attend to personal hygiene
  • Rough handling a senior
  • Giving a senior too much or too little medication
  • Confining the senior to a bed, chair, or room
  • Inflicting physical pain on the senior

If you suspect that a senior you know is being abused, please call Crime Stoppers or the police, or someone in the family of the senior to make sure the elder is able to live safely and comfortably.

Written by: Courtney Jones Tagged with:, , , ,

One Response to Elder Abuse Teleconference

  1. Rob Campbell says:

    Thanks for sharing this article Courtney, its good work. Teleconferences are tough for pictures. But your bullet lists are nice. Good work.

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