Suggestions for Minimizing the Chances for Elder Abuse

Realizing that a loved one needs to move into some sort of assisted living facility is not an easy thing for anyone to face.  No one looks forward to sending a parent, a grandparent or an aunt or uncle off to such a place, but nevertheless it is necessary for people who are no longer able to safely care for themselves.  There are many reasons that this situation is difficult, but most people proceed with the understanding that once their loved one has made this move that he or she will be safe and that the worries that were present are no longer relevant.

Unfortunately, people who do see a loved one off to a nursing home should not dismiss their concern altogether, as a growing number of people are being abused and/or neglected in these facilities.  Those who suspect that something is wrong should act on those suspicions immediately, but there are ways to minimize the chance that a loved one will suffer at the hands of a staff member or because of a failure of the facility overall.  Below are a few suggestions to keep in mind for those facing this situation.

Set the Tone Immediately

One of the best ways to proactively protect a loved one is to establish immediately that you are going to be involved with the care of that person.  Let management know that you intend to obtain regular updates for that person’s progress and overall status so that they understand that this person is being watched closely outside of that building.

Follow Up on Requests

If you encounter a situation where you request an update on that loved one, follow up on that request until it is met.  For instance, if you want to find out how a new medication is working, call back to get your answer.  If you learn that your loved one has become ill, make sure that the facility knows that you will be tracking that person’s progress.

Be Present Often

Perhaps the most effective way to protect a loved one who is living in a nursing home is to make sure that you are a regular presence there.  Visit whenever possible and make it clear that you intend to take advantage of the opportunity to spend time with that person.  This regular presence may stick in the back of someone’s mind who may otherwise act inappropriately.

Studies have shown that nursing home abuse is like other forms of abuse in that those who commit these acts tend to seek out the most vulnerable potential victims.  In this setting, those who are most vulnerable are likely people who do not receive regular visitors and who are basically alone, as they will not have anyone watching them.

If you suspect that someone you love is being mistreated while living in this type of a facility, you need to take action as soon as possible.  You can start by contacting the New York nursing home abuse lawyers at The Fitzgerald Law Firm to schedule a free initial consultation