Elder abuse can deteriorate self-confidence, impair judgment and jeopardize life expectancy. Watching someone you love endure an abusive situation can cause angst and uncertainty.
Helping an elderly individual out of an abusive situation may require the intervention of local authorities. Once in a safer nursing home, you can facilitate healing and hope.
Give your support
Depending on the circumstances, your family member may require ongoing medical treatment for injuries or illnesses that resulted from abuse. During this time, your loved one will need compassion, empathy and support. According to the National Institute on Aging, elder abuse can include abandonment, emotional abuse, physical abuse, isolation and financial abuse.
Do your best to establish a consistent visitation routine. Remind your loved one he or she is not at fault for any mistreatment. Offer a listening ear. Learn more about abuse and how to detect it so you can prevent similar situations in the future.
Encouraging your family member to participate in therapy is another way you can show support. Abuse has a dangerous way of making victims feel as though they do not matter. Ongoing mistreatment can manipulate victims into believing falsehoods that can impact their understanding and response to the world around them. Such outcomes can directly affect your family member’s quality of life. If untreated, emotional trauma could trigger serious mental illnesses that begin to affect physical health which could cause early death.
If your family member feels comfortable attending therapy, you may consider joining in. Your firsthand support may provide comfort and encouragement to continue seeking help during a very difficult time. You may also consider hiring an attorney to represent your loved one. Abuse is a serious issue and the perpetrators of such mistreatment should receive adequate punishment under the law.