In the past, adult daycare was an overlooked service. However, with the aging population growing and the number of beds in assisted living decreasing, more families are utilizing this service.
Adult daycare is a service that provides patients with medical and emotional support during the day or overnight for specified hours while family members that normally provide care are at work. It allows family members to stay home and remain independent, but also get out and socialize.
While adult day care is an ideal option, it is now increasing in the number of adult abuse cases as well. Therefore, it is important to understand adult daycare abuse, the signs, and what options you have before placing a loved one in a facility.
The types of abuse you would encounter in a nursing home are the same as adult daycare. These patients often cannot tell their loved ones that they are being abused; therefore, it is up to family members to know the signs.
Physical abuse is the easiest to identify because it leaves marks. Ask your loved one if you recognize cuts or bruises. Inquire about frequent falls and injuries from the daycare providers, and if you suspect your loved one is being abused, contact the authorities.
Unwanted touching, sexual gestures, and even jokes are also considered sexual abuse. When your loved one is made to feel uncomfortable or fears that sexual gestures would lead to more severe abuse that constitutes abuse too. Sexual abuse is not as easy to identify because most of the signs of abuse are on private areas that family members may not see–unless a loved one requires assistance with dressing and bathing.
Any time you see bruises or sores in private areas, question the daycare facility and take your loved one to a medical professional for an assessment.
Verbal abuse can be just as damaging as physical abuse. Verbal abuse affects a person’s emotional and mental status, and while it is not easy to spot in comparison to sexual and physical abuse, you will notice symptoms.
Victims of verbal abuse often experience extreme personality changes, become fearful, and might become apprehensive about returning to the daycare center.
A patient’s property is their property–regardless if they are in a daycare facility. Any theft of their private property, asking them to write checks, or requesting money from the victim could constitute financial abuse. Some daycare patients suffer mental impairment, such as dementia, which means that they could write checks to a caregiver multiple times throughout the day, and never recall doing so.
If you suspect adult daycare abuse, do not take your loved one back to the facility. Instead, report the suspicion to the police, then contact an elder abuse attorney. An attorney can prevent further injuries to patients of the facility, but also hold that facility financially accountable for the damages that they have caused.