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What does financial and emotional abuse look like?

As your loved one ages or becomes more reliant on healthcare providers or nursing home staff, you have to hope that he or she receives adequate care. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, elder abuse can happen to anyone, regardless of sex, religion, race or ethnic and cultural background. When it comes to elder abuse or neglect, not all abuse is physical. You may not see physical signs.

Emotional abuse

Emotional abuse can include yelling, threatening or attempting to tear down a person. Additionally, those guilty of emotional abuse tend to ignore the older adult’s needs or seek to isolate them from those they care about. Those who undergo emotional abuse may stop taking part in the hobbies or activities that he or she loves.

Financial abuse

Financial abuse may manifest as neglect or exploitation. In financial neglect, the person responsible for your loved one’s finances neglects his or her responsibilities. For example, if your loved one’s bills, medical payments, insurance or other expenses show no signs of payment, this is financial neglect.

Financial exploitation, on the other hand, involves the misuse of property, assets and belongings. A person may use an older adult’s assets without his or her consent or may use manipulation to control finances.

When looking for signs of abuse, look for behavioral changes. Does your loved one act agitated or violent? Does he or she seem more withdrawn than before? The effects of emotional or financial abuse may manifest in emotional changes. All forms of abuse are as damaging as physical abuse.