Keeping Loved Ones Safe from Elder Abuse

As parents and grandparents age, it is left to the younger generation to determine the best care plan for a happy and healthy quality of life. Sometimes this means in-home health care, while other times it might require an assisted living or nursing home facility. No matter what the choice, their safety should be a key factor in the decision.

Elder abuse is a subject with a great deal of misinformation and denial. However, the sad facts are that sometimes the very people we trust to provide our loved ones with the best possible care could be creating unhealthy and abusive living situations. Roommates and other residents can also create dangerous and abusive situations. Some of the most common forms of elder abuse include:

  • Verbal abuse – This can include yelling, screaming, verbally threatening and even cursing at the patient.
  • Physical abuse – Biting, kicking, hitting, punching and any other form of violent physical contact are considered physical abuse.
  • Improper care – Falls, bed sores, bruises, soiled clothing, malnutrition and a host of other issues can arise when a patient is not receiving appropriate care. It is important to remember that these conditions are not normal or acceptable.
  • Stealing or unwelcome entry – Resident’s personal belongings are often on display for whomever has access to the room. Because of this, snooping through a resident’s personal belongings or taking items is a danger.
  • Financial exploitation – The elderly can easily fall victim to scams in the financial realm. Once a caregiver gains the resident’s trust, they can bilk them out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Keeping your parents, grandparents or other elderly family members safe when they are in adult care situations should be a non-negotiable part of their care. If you feel they are being put in an abusive situation either at the hands of the caregivers or other residents, it is crucial to confront the situation head-on. Preservation of evidence, such as photographs of injuries, text messages or voicemails from caregivers and any hand written notes or statements is vital as they tend to disappear with time, making it difficult to prove your case.

In addition to asking the right questions and documenting these questionable or abusive situations, we strongly recommend seeking appropriate legal counsel to ensure your loved one’s rights are being upheld. If you have any questions about elder abuse or suspect your loved one might be a victim, contact the compassionate legal professionals at Reynolds, Horne & Survant.


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