If you have a loved one in New Mexico who is considered to be an elder, it can be hard to watch them get old. Unfortunately, this generation is also at higher risk of being taken advantage of. There are many different types of elder abuse, and it can occur in their own homes, assisted living centers, nursing homes and other institutions. In order to prevent it or stop it from happening, make sure you know the risks and signs.

The Centers for Disease Control discusses the different forms of elder abuse. These include:

  • Psychological or emotional
  • Sexual
  • Physical
  • Financial 
  • Neglect

Unfortunately, when you are not around the senior on a regular basis, it may be hard to determine if abuse is going on. The National Center on Elder Abuse shares some risk factors and signs that abuse may be going on. While abuse affects seniors across every race and socio-economic group, females and older seniors are at higher risk. So are those who are more isolated, suffer from mental health issues, have dementia or have substance abuse issues.

Just some of the signs of abuse include:

  • Changes in behavior, such as withdrawal
  • Unexplained bruises, fractures or sores
  • Lack of things they typically could afford
  • Signed property transfers without understanding what it means
  • Poor hygiene
  • Shortage of medical aids
  • Filthy and/or unsafe home
  • Caregiver will not allow others into the home or isolates elder

If you feel a friend or family member is experiencing some type of elder abuse it is important to report it right away. Call the proper authorities or 911 if it is an emergency situation.