Some ways that a person with disabilities can be mistreated by a caretaker include rough handling, unwanted sexual activity and neglect of health-related needs, notes the World Institute on Disability. Further forms of abusive action can include exploiting the patient's mental capacity in order to steal money or other personal belongings; physical violence; and controlling aspects of the patient's life by limiting her contact with specific people or refusing access to certain locations or to the outdoors.
About 10 million disabled people within the United States rely on Personal Assistance Services to complete normal functions on a daily basis, reports the World Institute on Disability. It is important for family members and other concerned individuals to remain vigilant for signs of abuse. Some tips for reducing the threat of abuse for disabled people include listening to and believing anyone expressing discomfort regarding treatment providers, doing comprehensive background checks on potential caretakers, and making sure the disabled person knows that she is not being forced to rely on any individual caregiver. Pressuring a patient or urging her to act quickly can cause unnecessary distress. Instead, approach the individual in a confidential, relaxed setting, raise the issue by expressing concern for her well-being, and offer alternative personal assistance resources.