You might be surprised to learn it’s not the typical their or mugger that commits elder abuse. In fact, the culprit is usually a close friend or relative of the victim. The spouse or adult children of elder abuse victims have easy access and can easily manipulate the situation for personal gain. While you may not see elders being physically abused by their family and friends, you’ll often see financial manipulation. It’s easy for people in close relationships to gain access to the victim’s financial accounts and swindle them out of money because they are in a trustworthy position.
Signs that Family or Friends are Culprits of Elder Abuse
If you are concerned for an elder in your life the best thing you can for them is learn the signs associated with elder abuse from the usual suspects.
When in doubt, follow the money. As stated above, the most common form of elder abuse is financial. If someone is living in poor conditions while their children or spouse is thriving, you may need to investigate further.
Some things that are easy to see are expensive new items purchased by the caretaker. You should remain suspicious and vigilant about the care the elder is receiving from their caretaker when they inexplicably have bought new computers, cars, jewelry, etc.
Never rule out in-care abuse as well. Another common culprit is the caregivers at hospitals and other facilities that are stealing and mentally abusing the elderly. Again, the most common motive here is money. Caregivers at facilities have been known to abuse their authority and bully elders into giving them money. An easy way to spot this is viewing missing items upon visits.
If you care for someone living in a home, be sure to note valuables in order to identify if things go missing.
In most elder abuse cases, the culprit is someone in a caregiving position. They will use their authority to mentality or physically abuse someone to gain control over their finances. The best way to protect the people you love is by learning how to identify the problem and report any issues you see.