Elder abuse in nursing homes is a growing problem and one that affects more than 2 million families in the United States. For those families who must trust a facility to care for their elderly parents, it’s important to know what actions you can take to protect your loved ones. While most elders are well cared for, the problem of abuse and neglect is common enough that there are special elder abuse lawyers in Los Angeles and across the country.
Avoid Isolating Your Elder Loved One
In itself, this is a form of neglect, because too much time alone can leave the elder feeling abandoned and depressed. Additionally, too much time segregated from others creates opportunities for others to commit abuse against the elder.
Maintain a Regular Presence
You should make it a point to visit your elder loved one on a regular basis. This will help the elder stay connected with your family, as well as making it easier to identify signs of nursing home neglect or abuse. Watching for behavioral changes, deteriorating health, injuries, and a lack of hygiene will be easier, when your visits are more frequent.
Encourage Socialization and Activities
Ensuring your elder loved one stays active and maintains relationships with others in the facility is a good way to help prevent abuse and neglect. You can’t be there 24 hours a day, but, if your elder loved one has friends among the other residents, they’ll spend less time alone. This will protect their cognitive abilities, as well as limiting opportunities for abuse.
Be Aware of Financial Abuse
This involves others accessing the finances of the elder for their own financial gain, as well as instances of less reputable caregivers overcharging the elder. To prevent the elder from being financially victimized, you and your loved one should be very watchful of their finances and limit access to sensitive information. Prohibit family members, friends, or nursing home staff with substance abuse problems from accessing the elder’s money.
Protecting your elder loved one from neglect and abuse involves watching for physical, emotional, and financial changes. If you suspect your elder loved one is being victimized, you should consult a personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles as soon as possible. Delaying could mean endangering the elder’s safety further. Together, you and an experienced attorney can find out if abuse is really occurring and react accordingly.