Abuse later in life can be difficult to spot because the signs of abuse can, unfortunately, sometimes be written off as symptoms of aging and dementia; symptoms like: bruising from bumping into things, increased worry, lack of coordination, or a startle response. The list below will help you watch and identify warning signs of abuse:

  • Unexplained bruises, marks, broken bones or abrasions that could be indicative of physical abuse or any bruises or injuries to the breasts or genitalia
  • Withdrawal from previously enjoyed activities, sudden change in alertness or unusual depression
  • Sudden changes in financial situation
  • Poor hygiene, bedsores, unusual weight loss or unattended medical needs
  • Belittling, threats or frequent arguments between patient and caregiver

If you or someone you know is experiencing any of these things, you can call our 24-hour confidential helpline at (804)612-6126 to be connected to resources. If you suspect an elderly loved one is being abused, please report it to your local Adult Protective Care Services.