11 Sep 2021 Blog General


Close up picture of an elderly woman's injured eye and face - domestic violence

Seniors with dementia are particularly vulnerable to abuse

6 SIGNS OF SENIOR ABUSE IN DEMENTIA SENIORS. Seniors with dementia sometimes make false accusations, claiming that they are being abused or even stolen from by their loved ones or caregivers. Unfortunately, in these cases, the dementia makes them paranoid and delusional.It also happens that seniors with dementia are abused.

People with dementia are unfortunately particularly vulnerable to such a scenario because their memory, communication skills and judgment are impaired. It is not uncommon for unscrupulous people to take advantage of these vulnerable seniors because they are an easy target.

It is unlikely that the individual will report the problem themselves. He or even the caregiver may not be believed, or they may not be aware that abuse is taking place. Senior abuse is a very sensitive topic that should be handled with utmost caution so as not to hurt anyone.

To protect your elderly loving loved ones, we explain in the following blog post “6 SIGNS OF SENIOR ABUSE IN DEMENTIA SENIORS” how to recognize the warning signs of elder abuse in 6 different forms. We also recommend organizations you can contact if you suspect abuse.

6 Types of elder abuse and their warning signs

First and foremost, elder abuse is any form of mistreatment that causes harm or damage to an older person.

In general, there are 6 categories for elderly abuse. For each category, there are warning signs that indicate elder abuse.

Even if your elderly loved one does not recognize what is going on or cannot speak up for themselves, you will know if something suspicious is going on and can advocate for them.

  1. 1. Physical abuse

Physical abuse is when someone intentionally causes injury, pain or impairment to an older person. This includes isolation and inappropriate use of restraints.

Warning signs include:

  • Unexplained injuries such as bruises, welts, burns, new scars, broken bones, sprains or dislocations.
  • Reports of medication overdose or taking medications irregularly (e.g., having more medication left at the end of the month than was prescribed)
  • Broken eyeglass lenses
  • Signs of restraint, such as rope marks on the wrists
  • Caregiver refuses to let you see the older adult in his or her absence
  1. 2. Emotional abuse

Emotional abuse includes verbal abuse, threats, harassment, humiliation, and intimidation.

Warning signs include:

  • Any type of threatening, belittling, or controlling behavior you observe.
  • If the older adult shows increased signs of agitation, such as rocking, sucking, or mumbling to himself.
  • Unexplained withdrawal from normal activities, a sudden change in alertness, or unexpected depression
  • The caregiver refuses to let you see the elder in his or her presence.

Note: Emotional abuse is particularly difficult to recognize in older people with dementia. Many of these signs of abuse are similar to typical dementia symptoms. If you notice these signs, listen to your gut, be vigilant, and investigate until you are sure your elder is not being harmed.

  1. 3. Financial abuse

Financial abuse occurs when someone uses an elder’s money, property, or other resources unlawfully or improperly.

This includes cashing checks without permission, forging signatures, stealing money or property, coercing or deceiving someone into signing documents such as contracts or a will. Depending on the condition, the injured party may not even notice this form of abuse or may notice it only dimly.

Warning signs include:

  • Sudden changes in the elderly person’s financial situation.
  • Irregular spending and withdrawals from the elderly person’s accounts, withdrawals despite penalties
  • Adding authorised users to the older person’s bank accounts, credit or debit cards
  • Missing items or cash in the home
  • Suspicious changes in wills, powers of attorney, titles and policies
  • Unpaid bills or lack of medical care, even though the older person should have enough money to pay them
  • Financial activities that the older adult could not have done on his or her own, such as making an ATM withdrawal when bedridden
  • Home technology is turned off
  • A new “best friend” or “mistress”
  1. 4. Sexual abuse

Any non-consensual sexual contact is sexual abuse.

This includes touching, fondling, and any sexual activity that occurs when the person is unable to understand, unwilling or unable to consent, threatened, or physically coerced.

Warning signs include:

  • Bruising around the breasts or genitals.
  • Unexplained vaginal or anal bleeding
  • Torn, stained, or bloody underwear
  1. 5. Neglect or self-neglect

If a caregiver does not provide or intentionally withholds necessary items such as food, clothing, shelter, medication, medical care, physical assistance, or a safe environment, this is neglect. However, if a person does not provide for their own basic needs, it is not self-neglect. Because of their cognitive impairment, older people with dementia may not be able to care for their own daily needs. This puts them at risk for falls, wandering, infection and malnutrition.

Warning signs include:

  • Unusual weight loss, malnutrition, dehydration.
  • Unattended medical needs or untreated physical ailments such as bedsores
  • Unsanitary living conditions: Dirt, vermin, soiled bedding and clothing
  • Poor hygiene – being dirty or unbathed, the person is smelly
  • Inappropriate clothing for the weather
  • Unsafe living conditions (hoarding, no heat or running water, fire hazard)
  • Leaving the older adult in a public place
  1. 6. Healthcare fraud and abuse

When a healthcare provider falsifies patient information to gain a financial advantage or fails to provide appropriate care, it is healthcare fraud.

Warning signs include:

  • Problems in a care facility, such as poorly trained or insufficient staff, overcrowding of residents, failure to respond to bells or alarms, or failure to improve care after important problems are brought to the attention of staff or administration
  • Overmedication or undermedication
  • Inadequate care even though bills have been paid in full
  • Billing for services that were not provided or duplicate billing for the same medical service or medical device
  • Billing for a covered service even though the actual service provided was not covered
  • Misrepresentation of the service rendered
  • Billing for a more complex or expensive service than was actually provided

What to do if you suspect elder abuse? We’ve summarized 6 ways to report a problem.

If you recognize signs of elder abuse, it’s important to advocate for your elder. You may be able to fire and report an employed caregiver, get your elder out of a neglectful care facility, or prevent an abusive family member from seeing your elder.

If you need help from authorities, there are 6 main options for reporting elder abuse.

To file a report, you do not have to prove that abuse occurred. It is up to the professionals to investigate the suspicion.

  1. 1. In an emergency situation, call 911 or your local police department
  2. 2. Call your local Adult Protective Services (APS) agency. In most states, APS is the first place to report abuse and neglect. The report will be kept confidential, regardless of the outcome.
  3. 3. Visit the National Center on Elder Abuse for contact information for state-level resources.
  4. 4. Call the Eldercare Locator at 1-800-677-1116 for information or a referral to the correct local agency.
  5. 5. Contact the Long-Term Care Ombudsman for help with problems in a long-term care facility.
  6. 6. Call the Alzheimer’s Association at 1-800-272-3900.


Final Thoughts

One of the most important things is to take signals you notice seriously. Of course, don’t directly make your loved one feel something is wrong. Feel your way slowly before making accusations that are not true. This can cause great problems and distrust among the cared for, the caregiver and you. If you suspect something, possibly talk to a family member such as a brother. Sister, spouse, etc. about the matter.

To make life easier and more independent for you and your loved one, Remedic offers many products for everyday living. Visit our website at https://remedic.co/products/

REMEDIC pill glass with ergonomic water glass

For many people, taking medication is part of their daily routine, whether it’s in the form of dietary supplements or prescription pills. The Remedic Home Care Pill Dispenser is a combination product that functions as an ergonomic water glass and pill box.

The pill box on the top features a large lever with a tilting lid that is easy to open even with arthritic hands, and a transparent lid that makes it easy to identify medications. The jar on the bottom has a scale for measuring water, as some medications may not work properly or cause throat irritation if not taken with enough water. This makes it one of the best pill dispensers for the elderly and patients with dexterity issues. Its the perfect product for a caregiver due to the advantages just explained.


We hope you enjoyed our blog post on “6 SIGNS OF SENIOR ABUSE IN DEMENTIA SENIORS”. Please contact us anytime if you have any questions or comments.