Remember that elderly folks are afraid to talk about the abuse. They are easily controlled by an abuser.
Learn to watch for signs of behavior change. A person with dementia cannot tell you what is happening, for they often cannot find the words to relate what they have experienced. However, their behavior will show you, if you are attentive to changes in their behavior. A person who raises his/her arms in defense when you approach is a person who is being struck by another. Learn these physical signals and respond to them at once!
When an elderly person, who has always been kind to you, begins to attack you verbally, but talks sweetly to the caregiver, fire the caregiver. The elderly individual may be trying to “soften up” the caregiver, hoping that the abuse, which he/she is receiving, will stop.
Schedule private time with the loved one. Do not allow a caregiver to sit in on private conversations. The caregiver is not a member of your family, and it is not necessary to make the caregiver feel that he/she is invited to be part of the family. The presence of the abusing caregiver threatens the elderly, keeping the elderly individual from speaking about what has been happening to them.