Recognizing elder abuse and how to prevent it

Nov 18, 2021, 11:02 AM | Updated: 2:07 pm

Elderly abuse and neglect can be hard to spot. But there are signs, and steps you can take to find a qualified caregiver.

An expert explains simple ways to keep your aging loved one safe.

Running a bagel business out of her home gives Cheryl Mignone the flexibility to help her mom. Nora is 76 and lives in New Jersey.

“A spitfire — until recently, when we had to get some help for her,” said Mignone, who lives in Kaysville.

Nora has dementia, so Mignone used an agency to find live-in care.

“They do vet them. They make sure there’s no criminal record, all these background checks that you can’t do or maybe just don’t want to do,” Mignone said.

“That’s smart,” said Nan Mendenhall with Utah’s Aging and Adult Services. “Be careful, because you’re asking someone to come in and take care of your loved one.”

According to the Utah Department of Human Services, emotional abuse and caretaker neglect topped the list of abuse cases in Utah last year. That was followed by self-neglect and physical injury.

To prevent abuse, experts say it’s important to know the warning signs, which include: weight loss, acting withdrawn and isolating themselves. Also, unexplained injuries, and inconsistent explanations about those wounds.

“Say, for instance, bedsores, that should have been prevented but they failed to do that,” Mendenhall said.

Experts advise to call and visit your aging loved one regularly. Immediately report concerns to staff or other authorities. Thoroughly research a potential nursing home or home care team. And you don’t have to do it alone.

“It’s OK to ask for help, you know, ‘Can I get home health services in to help care for them, so I don’t have to do it all by myself?’”

Mignone keeps a watchful eye from afar.

“I visit unexpectedly, I’m coming in on this day, and I come in two days early,” she said.

She says it’s not easy, but neither was she.

“I was not an easy kid,” Mignone said. “I was probably the worst of the bunch.”

It’s her way to give back to the mother who gave so much.

“An honor, to help my mom finish her life,” Mignone said.

If you suspect elder abuse or neglect, report it to Adult Protective Services. They also have programs to help support the caregivers.

For more information, visit:

· National Center on Elder Abuse

· National Institutes on Aging

· National Council on Aging

· The CDC maintains a list of ways to help prevent elder abuse.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Positively 50+

Filing your taxes can be time consuming, and costly. But, AARP Tax Aides offer the free help of tra...
Ayanna Likens

If you need help filing your taxes, there is a free local resource near you

It's tax season, and if you need help filing your taxes, there is now a free and local resource to help.
16 days ago
Rose is holding a basket of crochet creations in front of a childrens hospital....
Ayanna Likens

Why staying independent is important to the health and well-being of seniors

Independence is important to the physical and mental well-being of every person, none more so than seniors. Here is some tips and tricks to help give seniors an independent life.
1 month ago
Ayanna Likens

New class helps seniors improve their balance

According to the CDC, falls are the leading cause of injury and death among adults 65 and older. But they do not have be an inevitable part of aging, which is why the Draper Senior Center is now offering a Tai Chi class.
2 months ago
Ayanna Likens

Volunteers helping homebound seniors feel a little less lonely this holiday season

The most wonderful time of year can also be the loneliest time of year for those that don't have any family close by. But AARP volunteers are helping them feel a little less lonely.
3 months ago
Medicare open enrollment is now open until December 7th and there is help out there if you are look...
Ayanna Likens

Wanting to change your Medicare plan? There’s help out there

Choosing a health care plan can be overwhelming, especially for older Americans who want to be prepared if their health takes a turn.
4 months ago
The 35th Annual Senior Games take place in St. George through October 15....
Ayanna Likens

Thousands competing in 35th annual Huntsman World Senior Games in St. George

Seniors from all over the world have traveled to Southern Utah to play in the 35thannual Huntsman Senior Games.
6 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Close up of an offset printing machine during production...
Les Olson IT

Top 7 Reasons to Add a Production Printer to Your Business

Learn about the different digital production printers and how they can help your company save time and money.
vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Recognizing elder abuse and how to prevent it