Would You Recognize the Signs of Elder Abuse?

As our population continues to age, many seniors are turning to long-term care facilities, or in-home caregivers, to provide necessary medical and caregiving services.

Many people have heard of child abuse but never consider the possibility that seniors may be suffering a similar fate. Elder abuse takes many forms including neglect, and physical, emotional, sexual and financial abuse.  It can occur in long-term care facilities, but also in one’s own home, and may be at the hands of a caregiver, family member, friend or another facility resident.

The 2012 Kentucky Elder Abuse Committee Annual Report found that over the last ten years, reports of alleged abuse in long-term care facilities have increased 130.6% resulting in a 46.7% increase in investigations and a 43.6% increase in substantiated abuse claims.

A recent study by the Families for Better Care ranked Kentucky 40th out of 51 with a grade of “D” finding that 20% of Kentucky’s nursing homes and long-term care facilities recorded “severe deficiencies” in the quality of care in their facilities.

The best thing you can do when choosing long-term care is to do your homework and to research all available options.  There 
are many nursing homes and long-term care facilities that have an excellent record of care in safe surroundings within a stimulating environment for your loved one.

Seniors, like children, are some of our most vulnerable citizens often unable or afraid to speak for themselves. If your loved one resides in a long-term care facility or has an in-home caregiver, pay special attention to any sudden changes in their appearance, personality, living and financial condition and look for these most common signs of neglect or abuse:

  • Bed sores
  • Dehydration
  • Neglect
  • Medicine mismanagement

Once the choice is made between either a long-term facility or in-home care, continue to be regularly involved in your loved one’s care. Be visible. Interact regularly with the people who are involved in your loved one’s care. Most importantly, be pro-active. Many people suspect abuse, but are afraid to get involved, or feel it’s none of their business.

If you suspect elder abuse or neglect, but are hesitant to get involved, or do not know how to proceed, the Becker Law Office is here to help you and to lead you through the process to provide necessary medical and caregiving services.

To learn more about how to recognize the signs of abuse and see the official government report on nursing homes in your area, visit www.BeckerLaw.com/NHreport.