In general, members of the elder population who are being abused demonstrate discomfort and anxiety when in the presence of an abuser. They may even tell someone, if possible, that they are being mistreated. But those who suffer with mental confusion and/or delusions have no way to clearly communicate or may be unaware that they are being victimized. Seniors who are fearful of retribution will not reveal abuse.

Emotional and mental forms of elder abuse leave invisible wounds upon the heart and spirit of their victim. Their symptoms may be more difficult to observe. Some warning signs of these kinds of abuse might include:

— Increased agitation, fearfulness or confusion
— Indications of fear when the caregiver is present
— Lack of responsiveness that suggests being overly medicated
Care giver‘s refusal to allow visitors
— Signs of social isolation
— Evidence of verbal manipulation by caregivers to exert excessive influence

Evidence of suspected physical abuse is easier to spot and may be occurring when:

— There are unexplained bruises or burns
— There is evidence of possible malnutrition
— Frequent broken bones are seen
— Lack of responsiveness suggests that the senior may be overly medicated
— The care giver refuses to allow visitors
— Unsanitary living conditions and/or signs of physical neglect are noted

– John D. Miller is the founder/owner of Home Care Partners, LLC, a Massachusetts business providing private duty, personalized in-home assistance and companion care services to those needing help in daily activities and household functions. He can be reached at: (781) 378-2164; email: ; or online at: