Preventing and Addressing Elder Financial Abuse in Nursing Homes
With age, it can become difficult to engage in daily tasks and take care of oneself, as a result, the need for a caretaker could become a reality. Professional helpers or family members may take on this role, or, an older adult may move into a long-term care facility.
Taking care of an older adult is not always the easiest task, especially when complete care is required. It takes a special type of individual to handle the job. Still, care providers have a duty to the people that they are taking care of to treat them with dignity and respect and not to do anything that would harm them. Often, though, when a caretaker is unable to fully meet the requirements of their role, this can become frustrating, and elder abuse may result.
The National Council on Aging reports that approximately one in 10 seniors will suffer elder abuse and there may be as many as five million seniors who are abused every year. When negligent or intentional actions harm a resident in a nursing home or other long-term care facility, it is important to alert the authorities of the problem and then speak with a Pennsylvania nursing home abuse attorney at Edelstein Martin & Nelson, LLP to learn more about what options exist for financial recovery.
Assessing Elder Abuse in the United States
There are certain risk factors that can make an older adult more vulnerable to abuse. For example, if an older adult resides in a nursing home and rarely has visitors there are less caring eyes looking out for them. Or, an older adult could be suffering from dementia and unable to fend for themselves. Statistically, women tend to suffer abuse at higher levels than men do.
There are also institutional risk factors that could put a nursing home resident in harm’s way. A facility that is understaffed, hiring practices that do not include comprehensive vetting of new employees, and more can all be issues that can make staff more prone to engaging in abusive or neglectful behaviors.
While it is impossible to completely prevent all cases of elder abuse from happening, there are steps that can be taken to minimize a senior’s risk. If your loved one lives in a nursing home, the following can better safeguard them from possible abuse:
- Know the signs of elder abuse and look for them when visiting a loved one.
- Maintain regular contact with a loved one through phone calls and frequent visits.
- Do in-depth research into various nursing homes before choosing one.
- Communicate with nursing home staff so that they get to know you and can keep you updated on the condition and well-being of your loved one.
Speak with an Attorney at Edelstein Martin & Nelson, LLP
Your loved one may be able to recover financial compensation for their harm if they were abused in a nursing home. If you would like more information about what to do should you suspect nursing home abuse, please call Edelstein Martin & Nelson, LLP to schedule a free consultation with an attorney at (215) 731-9900.