3/22/2013 | By Seniors Guide Staff

Early signs of Emotional Elder Abuse

During this stage someone is quietly moving in on the elder, trying to get their trust by faking their affections while simultaneously and discretely manipulating and plotting against the elder:

–     Changes in relationship/social patterns with family, friends, and/or outside activities; signs the elder is becoming distant and withdrawn

–     new friend, long-lost distant relative or family relative becoming suddenly too attentive or possessive; a too-good-to-be true relationship developing too quickly

–     family members are finding themselves in conflict with one another more frequently meaning someone is slowly undermining trust bonds or relationships that the elder has in order to isolate the elder from them

–     someone is always too focused on discrediting a member in the family who is close to the elder every time you speak to them; means they’re trying to influence you against that person and get your help in breaking up the relationship that the person has with the elder; it’s another way of getting the elder isolated

–     hearing the elder speaking ill of someone they once were very close to; means the caregiver may be influencing the elder against someone the caregiver considers too close to the elder; it’s another way of isolating the elder without anyone suspecting anything

–     signs the elder is becoming very reliant on only the caregiver for their emotional and material needs to the exclusion of all other

Later stages of Emotional Elder Abuse

Watch for more overt signs:

  • signs of intimidation, such as yelling, screaming or threats
  • signs of verbal abuse, such as ridicule, blaming, accusations, complaining
  • signs of being neglected, ignored, or given the “silent treatment”
  • frequent arguments or tension between the elder and the caregiver
  • changes in personality, mannerisms, behavior characteristics, or speech
  • signs of depression, sadness, anxiety, fear, fatigue, guilt, shame
  • the elder acts like they are being watched; they are very guarded in their actions
  • signs of the elder being embarrassed about, overly defensive of or constantly excusing someone’s behavior if someone suggests anything is wrong

Gunta Krumins, B.A., P.M.P., is a credentialed high-level project manager with experience mainly in the nonprofit sector. An expert in the field of Emotional Abuse and Elder Abuse, Krumins wrote the book “The Detrimental Effects of Emotional Abuse” to fight for the rights of victims of abuse and to put an end to the cycle of abuse. For more information, please visit

Seniors Guide Staff

Seniors Guide has been addressing traditional topics and upcoming trends in the senior living industry since 1999. We strive to educate seniors and their loved ones in an approachable manner, and aim to provide them with the right information to make the best decisions possible.

Seniors Guide Staff