Risk-free, no obligation consultation


The Silent Signs of Emotional Abuse in Elder Care

September 11, 2015
elder care

Everyone at some time has noticed friends, family and workmates withdraw from social contact, allow personal grooming to slip by the wayside, cringe at a raised voice or look blank when addressed in conversation. Not many people recognize these signs of emotional or mental abuse. Most people expect signs of emotional abuse to manifest in the physical arena, because they’re accustomed to seeing it broadcast over social media every day. There are silent signs, however, when these and other signs of emotional abuse happen during elder care. Then it becomes everyone’s business.

How it Begins

Those who abuse are basically bullies with a deep need to control. Love is only a word to them, and they use it ruthlessly to control other people. These types of people look for someone who is in need. The elderly are perfect for this type person. Our bully or controller gently takes charge of the situation by moving into the house and helping obtain what the senior needs. When the senior is comfortable with this answer to his or her problems, the controlling begins.

How it Manifests

When a previously lively and vital human being suddenly becomes quiet and withdrawn, s/he might suffer emotional abuse. When a previously healthy person who worked out regularly and ate properly suddenly shows signs of sleeplessness, unhealthy eating and fails to exercise at all, s/he might suffer signs of emotional abuse. The senior is also firmly isolatedfrom any friends who would see these signs and move to help the senior. No senior care facility will be allowed to send someone to help the senior, because, after all, this person is there, isn’t s/he? The finances are usually cleaned out first, then any property the senior owns and any assets until the senior is finally living in abject penury.

Why it’s Everyone’s Business

Aside from the fact that we care about these people, elders suffering emotional abuse have been rendered completely helpless. This has an effect on those around them. The senior’s health suffers, which could provide symptoms of illnesses that could affect others. Absentmindedness has all sorts of effects, from not paying sufficient attention when driving, if the controller hasn’t sold the senior’s car, to improperly using mechanical devices like electric knives. Sleeplessness and ill health make people weak. There is always the worry about suicide, if these sufferers are pushed over the line of what they can no longer take.


When people hear the word counseling, they think of two things: what it will cost and what they will be required to tell. Fear of the controlling influence in their lives is a very real consideration for the ill and helpless elderly. Money to pay for the counseling is also a very real fear. It might not be there anymore. The plain truth is that without counseling, sufferers of emotional abuse will not learn the tactics that will make them strong again, will make them able to cope again. Their independence and their self-esteem is at stake.

If you suspect someone is giving your elderly family members emotional abuse, please understand that the well trained and compassionate home care personnel at Home Matters are standing ready and able to help when you contact us for more information.

Share this article
About the author

Tyler Williams

As an Area Owner and Operator of a Home Matters Caregiving franchise, I am committed to ensuring exceptional outcomes for our valued clients and caregivers. My passion for elevating our service quality is matched by my role as a blogger and social media manager for the franchise, where I share insights, updates, and foster community engagement. Prior to senior care, I used my strategic communication and brand development skills as the Marketing Director of a regional bank. My diverse experience supports my commitment to excellence and innovation in both healthcare and digital communication.
Related Posts

Looking for Senior Care Franchise?

Home Matters Caregiving

Customer care

Based on 340 Google reviews

“I love how supportive and dependable Home Matters was for my Grandmother during the time we had their services. Their caregivers are dependable and very attentive to their clients!”
Tiffany C
“We had some hiccups with another agency and then found Home Matters through a friend! They made sure we were heard and their scheduling team is very communicative! Very happy with HMC!”
Joshua Clasberry
“I am so grateful. All staff members were friendly, courteous and kind. I would recommend them to everyone that needs help in their home! They are rock stars!!!”
Kathleen Light
“Home Matters Caregiving has been taking care of my mother full time now for over 3 years. They are committed to helping people and always work hard to find the best caregivers possible.”
Pam Knell

Hi! How can we help you?

I'm Looking for Care
I'm Looking for a Career
I'd Like to Own a Franchise