Besides physical abuse, there is emotional abuse of elders as well. Sometimes this is worse because there are no outward signs that would alert someone that the abuse is going on.
Some of the ways that you can tell that there is an issue though is if your client’s attitude changes. Perhaps they are staying in bed longer, not eating as well or eating way more (losing or gaining weight). Then maybe you witness them crying more but not wanting to talk about it. The worst is when you witness the fact that your client is now showing signs of Dementia when they never had any of those symptoms before.
It is hard to say what to do in this set of circumstances. Sometimes if you broach the topic, your client will lose their advocate. If you don’t say anything at all then you don’t seem to be much of an advocate to begin with. What to do; what to do?
If you work for yourself, you will have to make this determination yourself. If you work for an agency, you must report the abuse to your superior. No matter what, keep a log or a journal – or some form of written data that you can refer back to at a later date.
Your job and responsibility is to do whatever you can, whenever you can to show that With Age Comes Respect.