Tips to Protect Against Physical Elder Abuse & Neglect
Tips and resources to help protect against physical abuse and neglect.
Elder abuse includes physical and financial abuse, as well as neglect of persons 65 years of age and older. Neglect typically means the refusal or failure to provide an elderly person with such life necessities as food, water, clothing, shelter, personal hygiene, medicine, comfort, personal safety, and other essentials of daily living.
Some simple things that you can do to help protect your loved one:
Stay Involved With Elder
Do not allow the elder to become isolated. Maintain close ties and make frequent contact and unannounced visits. Encourage the elder to maintain social contacts and increase network of friends. If access to the elder is being denied by someone, call adult protective services or law enforcement and ask for a welfare check.
Find Sources Of Help And Use Them
Find volunteers willing to help with, carrying groceries, run errands, give rides, entertain (i.e. Sing, dance, and make you laugh!), help out with making phone calls, writing letters and reading. There are countless faith based and secular nonprofit organizations with senior day programs, meals on wheels, transportation services and many other services that can be a wonderful resource for your loved one.
Anticipate Potential Incapacitation And Get Legal Affairs In Order
Protect the elder’s wishes upon incapacitation by getting the financial and legal affairs in order. Appoint a trusted person as power of attorney to help make financial and health care decisions for the elder before he or she becomes incapacitated. Prepare advanced directives indicating the extent and level of care desired when you become too sick or disabled to make your own decisions. This will help ensure that your doctor and family know and respect your wishes. It also helps relieve the stress and conflict when family have to guess what you would have wanted.
Use Safety Devices And Technology
There are many products on the market to decrease the risk of injuries to elders in every aspect of their daily activities.
Carefully Select Caregiver
Ask caregiver to provide referrals. Don’t just rely on calling the referrals. Make sure they are legitimate. Offer to buy him or her a cup of coffee so you can meet and evaluate them. When you find a caregiver you like, make sure they are certified and registered with the the State. California recently passed a law requiring home care agencies and independent home care aides to be certified. Part of that process includes a background check. Regardless of which state your loved one resides, make sure you conduct a background check. There are many reputable companies that can do it for a reasonable fee.
Carefully Select Assisted Living Home
- Start the process early before there is a crisis.
- Involve the prospective resident as much as possible in the process.
- Pay special attention to how residents are being treated by staff and the quality and responsiveness of the services. Don’t be sold only on the attractiveness of the facility.
- Narrow the options down to two or three facilities.
- Visit each facility several times.
- In making visits, walk through the whole facility and visit at different times of the day. Make sure you visit during a mealtime.
- Drop by unannounced and visit at night and/or on the weekend.
- Obtain a copy of the admission agreement. Read it carefully. Understand the services, costs and conditions for transfer.
- Before you make a final decision, check the latest survey report and any other citations issued by the state licensing agency. Facilities should make these reports available to you upon request. Or you can view the reports at the community care licensing office, California department of social services, or at some ombudsman offices
Carefully Select Nursing Home
- Look at survey results from the state licensing agency that shows the facility’s history with regulatory compliance or noncompliance. (this is public data)
- Check court records to determine if the facility been sued for neglect
- Conduct on line research regarding the Medicare’s nursing home compare website that ranks nursing homes from best to worst.
- Take an on-site tour of facility. Your senses of smell, sound and sight are great common sense predictors of quality.
- Meet and interview staff and administrator
- Ask about staffing levels, activities and resident opinion surveys, family member opinion surveys, read resident & family council minutes.
- Make sure the facility is able to clearly communicate in the elder’s first language.
- If it is important that the senior is seen by his or her own personal physician, confirm that he or she can see resident at facility?
- If not, meet facility medical director and research his/her background.
- Take the admission agreement home and read it carefully to see what services are included in the base price, as opposed to extra costs
At Elder Protection Center we’re here to help you and the ones you love to navigate the complexities and concerns that often come with aging.
Protecting the People You Love is our number one priority. You are not alone. We’d love to hear from you. Elder Protection Center is standing by for you and your loved ones – Today.