How to Detect and Prevent Elder Abuse

Taking care of our loved ones as they age represents an important yet daunting task that requires careful planning, consideration and information. We want to help provide a safe and secure space for the people we love most as they require more specialized care in their lives. Unfortunately, selecting a care provider for the elderly is often dependent on many limiting factors including: finances, health and geographical location. Many people believe the best way to prevent elder abuse is keep loved ones close to home; however, as people age and require more attentive care, staying at home is not always a plausible or safe option.

According to the National Center of Elder Abuse (NCEA), the prevalence of elder abuse and neglect Is hard to pinpoint because many instances of abuse are neither discovered nor reported. Caregivers, who interact with patients the most daily, are often the ones inflicting neglect which makes detecting elder abuse difficult.  Since the prevalence of elder abuse has not been widely determined, the NCEA encourages anyone who has a loved one living in assisted living to pay attention for any signs of nursing home abuse. Some of the most common sign of abuse include: sudden weight loss, dehydration, lack of social friendless, withdrawn behavior and changes in personal hygiene.  Paying attention for signs of abuse represents one of the best ways to prevent any further abuse from occurring. In addition to paying heighted attention to any changes in your loved one, the NCEA provides the following suggestions for preventing elder abuse:

  1. Plan: Establishing wills before a loved one needs assistance can be a key step in preventing any financial exploitation in nursing homes. Make sure you work with a financial advisor or lawyer to help create an appropriate financial plan.
  2. Educate the public: The more people know about the signs and symptoms of elder abuse; the more cases of abuse can be detected. Additionally, by acknowledging the presence of ageism in society, communities can work towards creating a safe space for all marginalized populations.
  3. Conduct criminal background checks: Before anyone begins caring for your loved one,make sure they complete a criminal background check is complete which ensures all credential and training are completed.

Finding the best living situation for your love one is not an easy choice. However, by paying attention for signs of abuse and staying active in your community to spread awareness, positive steps can be made forward in preventing situations of abuse.  To help put your mind at ease, educate yourself and others about the realities of elder abuse. If you believe your loved one has been a victim of elder abuse or neglect, contact Janesville attorney Steve Caya to help guide you through the appropriate legal steps.  Attorney Steve Caya can help make sure your loved one receives appropriate legal compensation if they are a victim of abuse.  Every person deserves equal opportunities to age in a safe, comfortable and enjoyable living situation.

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