Elder abuse is a reprehensible offense that preys upon one of the most vulnerable populations. Family members are often faced with making difficult decisions. They need to ensure that their loved one gets the care they need, yet placing a loved one in a nursing home may expose him or her to abuse. However, there are steps you can take to prevent elder abuse in Annapolis. In the event that you suspect elder abuse has occurred, you can take immediate action to protect your loved ones by consulting an attorney.
Research Care Providers
One way to protect your elderly loved one from abuse by caregivers is to thoroughly research in-home care providers and long-term care facilities before enrolling your loved one in a care plan. If you plan to hire an in-home caregiver, research the agency to ensure all providers undergo a thorough background check. Or, you can have your local policy agency run a criminal background check on the individual, usually for a small fee. If your family plans to place your loved one in a long-term care facility, you can visit the Medicare website to view the results of nursing home inspections. The site makes regulatory violations available to the public and will also list abuse cases in the future.
Make Frequent Visits
Even after scrupulously researching care providers, it’s still possible that a loved one may suffer from elder abuse. You can reduce this risk by making frequent, unannounced visits to your loved one’s home or nursing home. While you’re there, look for signs of possible abuse such as unexplained bruises, signs of malnutrition, or lapses in personal hygiene.
Join a Family Council
Many nursing homes have a resident or family council. It’s well worth your time to join a council or start one. Meetings of residents and family members can offer you a wealth of information about your loved one’s daily life at the facility. You can hear directly from other families if they suspect possible abuse or neglect.
Report Possible Abuse Promptly
If your loved one may be the victim of elder abuse, you need to report your suspicions immediately. Contact an attorney to discuss the situation, report the abuse to the nursing home administrator, and fill out a police report.