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Can you protect your aging loved one from abuse?

Relying on a nursing home facility in New York to care for your aging loved one can alleviate some of your caretaking responsibilities. However, you have to trust that caretakers will provide humane treatment.

Abuse at the hands of caregivers can damage self-esteem, jeopardize physical safety and lower life expectancy. Knowing how to protect your family member from abuse can empower both of you and encourage awareness.

Educate

You can learn about what abuse looks like and who is at risk. Educating your loved one may shed some light on warning signs to watch for. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, elder abuse takes on many forms including psychological trauma, sexual abuse, financial abuse, neglect and physical mistreatment. Abuse may look like the following:

  • Manipulation
  • Identity theft
  • Unexplained injury
  • Sexual assault
  • Isolation

Protect

There are a number of ways you can contribute to the protection of your aging loved one. Establish a consistent visitation schedule. Additionally, show up unannounced at unexpected times. Encourage your family member to make friends and participate in social activities. Regularly ask about your loved one’s experiences and whether or not the facility has successfully met individual needs. Immediately report concerns to staff.

Helping a family member coordinate end-of-life plans may require encouragement and unconditional love on your part. You want to help create a strategy that optimizes comfort and enjoyment. No one deserves to experience abuse or mistreatment. If you know a victim of elder abuse, you might want to take legal action to prevent something similar from happening to more victims.

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