Identifying Signs Of Elder Abuse & Protecting Loved Ones In Tampa
As parents and loved ones age, they often require more care than adult children are able to give. This especially true for elderly loved ones with advanced stage cognitive disorders, such as dementia, and elders with several comorbidities and limited mobility, who might require around the clock care. Assisted living facilities and nursing home facilities are expensive, and it can be difficult to determine what environment is right for a loved one. Most importantly, the adult child and elderly loved one need to find a reputable caregiver. Sadly, elder abuse is on the rise and often occurs in these environments. How can an adult child help an elderly parent if they suspect abuse or neglect?
What are Some Indicators of Elder Abuse?
Moving from the family home and into an elder care facility is a big change for your parent, and they may be noticeably withdrawn or indignant. However, if you notice some serious behavioral changes, signs of depression, listlessness, anxiety or sadness, you need to be vigilant and consider the possibility that your loved one is subjected to abuse. If you suspect emotional abuse, there may not be physical signs, so look for emotional indicators or ask your loved one directly. Some physical signs of abuse could be bruises, scratches, cuts, or even bite marks. Signs of neglect include bed sores, recurring sickness and infections, dehydration or rapid weight loss. Check to ensure your loved one regularly receives medical care, all doses of their medication, and that they are seen by a doctor on staff. If possible, have your loved one evaluated by an independent physician. Ask your loved one directly if they are okay, and how you can help. Keep in mind that financial abuse is also a possibility because your loved one is in a vulnerable position.
How Can You Help?
Before an elderly loved one moves into an assisted living or nursing home facility, their financial affairs should be in order. You should speak to an estate law attorney about how assisted living is paid for. You may also want to become custodian of your elderly loved one’s accounts and limit their ready access to liquidity to eliminate the possibility of financial abuse at an elder care facility. You can curb other forms of abuse by regularly checking in with your loved one, visiting often and asking questions. Follow your instincts if you suspect abuse or neglect, and do not be afraid to consider moving your loved one to a new facility or considering at-home health care to protect them and their best interests.
Contact Estate and Elder Law Attorneys
Making the decision to transition an elderly loved one to assisted living or around the clock care is fraught with uncertainty. These issues are only exacerbated by cases of elder abuse and neglect on the rise. If you suspect your elderly loved one is being neglected or abused, you can and should take legal action, in addition to finding alternate arrangements. We trust caregivers implicitly to provide the same care and attention to vulnerable loved ones as we would. When abuse is suspected, you and your loved one are entitled to answers and to justice.
Our Tampa elder law attorneys at Strategic Counsel Law Group serve families in all stages of life in navigating the transition to elder care. We also offer crisis planning to families dealing with a medical emergency. We can help you identify what benefits your loved one is eligible for and choose a reputable facility where your loved one will be respected and cared for. Call today to schedule a consultation.