When an individual reaches a certain point in their life, things that once seemed easy aren’t as simple anymore. They often turn to nursing homes to provide them with daily care, adult children to help them manage their finances, and even at-home caregivers if they wish to remain in the comfort of their own home. However, while many elderly individuals require this additional assistance, many see these “weaknesses” as an opportunity to take advantage of the elderly individual. Whether it’s in the form of physical abuse or financial exploitation, millions of elders in the U.S. are the victims of abuse and neglect each and every year.
With so many cases of elder and nursing home abuse being reported, it is important that these individuals are aware of some things they can do to protect themselves from all forms of abuse. Below we have highlighted a few the National Center on Elder Abuse recommends that may help elderly individuals avoid becoming yet another victim of abuse and neglect.
How can an elderly individual avoid financial exploitation?
- If they still live at home or only receive minimal assistance with managing their money, they should have their income, whether it is in the form of retirement, Social Security, SSI, or disability income, directly deposited into their checking account.
- If they require assistance with managing their money, be sure they choose someone who they can trust to help out.
- Have them get their estate plan in place. They can receive help with this from an elder law attorney who can help them draw up a living will and create an entire estate plan.
- Don’t sign any documents that you don’t completely understand. You can consult with a family member you trust or a nursing home abuse lawyer who can explain this document to you prior to you signing it.
How can an elderly person protect themselves from physical abuse and neglect?
- If they must go to a long-term care facility, they can visit medicare.gov/quality-care-finderto get more info on these facilities and choose one that is recognized for its quality.
- Learn about all the types of elder abuse that can and do occur and the associated warning signs. Have
your loved one visit ncea.aoa.gov/faq/index.aspx where they will gain access to this information.
- Try not to isolate yourself. Instead, build a network of family, friends, neighbors, and groups that you can interact with.
- If your loved one experiences abuse in a long-term care facility, they can contact The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program. Their mission is to advocate for residents in long-term care facilities. They can also contact a nursing home abuse lawyer also as these professionals can work to hold a facility and/or healthcare worker accountable for their careless actions.
If you need some assistance with locating a nursing home abuse lawyer in Charlotte, NC, USAttorneys.com is available to help you.