Watch for These Red Flags of Senior Abuse

senior abuse
senior abuse

Watch for these warning signs of senior abuse.

While senior abuse is something we wish never happened, it’s a tragically common occurrence in the U.S.Senior abuse occurs in many forms, from physical to emotional, and it impacts the most frail and vulnerable among us.

Since senior abuse is often an unspoken problem, it’s crucial for families and friends of seniors to be aware of the warning signs that an older person may be experiencing abuse, in order to ensure they remain protected. Our San Jose home care experts have compiled some of the red flags that could point to senior abuse.

Physical Abuse:

  • Indications of injury such as bruises, welts, or scars, particularly if they appear symmetrically on both sides of the body
  • Broken bones or sprains
  • Drug overdoses or regularly missed medications
  • Broken eyeglasses
  • Signs of being restrained, such as bruises or red marks on the wrists
  • Caregivers who refuse to allow the senior to be seen alone

Emotional Abuse:

  • Controlling behavior from the caregiver, such as:
  • Threatening or yelling at the senior
  • Humiliating or ridiculing the senior
  • Ignoring the senior
  • Isolating the senior from friends and family
  • Behavior that imitates dementia, such as rocking, sucking, or mumbling to oneself


  • Unhealthy weight loss or malnutrition
  • Physical problems, such as bed sores, that have gone untreated
  • Unsanitary living conditions
  • Neglected personal hygiene
  • Inappropriate clothing or covering for the weather
  • Unsafe living conditions (such as no heat or running water, faulty electrical wiring, or other fire hazards)
  • Leaving the senior alone in a public place

The early warning signs of senior abuse may be hard to recognize and may seem to be symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease or increased frailty. Not only that, but a caregiver who is abusing the senior may have what seem to be valid excuses for the red flags noticed. To help prevent senior abuse, make a point to call and visit senior loved ones often and be on the lookout for any changes in the older person’s personality or behavior. If any signs of senior abuse are suspected, they need to be reported immediately.

Visiting Angels, top providers of the home health care San Jose seniors need, can help families make sure that senior loved ones are safe and healthy. As the top-rated home care agency in the San Jose area, we provide customized in-home care services,specialized Alzheimer’s and dementia care, and services for those with disabilities so that seniors are safe and well cared for at all times. Contact us at 408-610-9996 for a professional in-home assessment to learn how we can help your senior loved one.