There is always a risk that an elderly person who is being abused or neglected will not seek help. In those cases, it's important for the surrounding people to recognize that they're in danger and to do what they can to help.
Elder abuse doesn't always look how you'd expect. It might not be someone you love getting pushed around or hurt physically. It might not even be financial exploitation, where they're left with little in their bank accounts.
Evacuating elderly residents from a building in a timely way can mean the difference between life and death. Disasters such as fires, hurricanes, flooding, hazardous materials or fumes and power outages put lives in immediate danger. Florida statutes require an evacuation plan in every facility's Comprehensive Emergency Management Plan.
There are many studies that look into which types of elder abuse are most common. There are varied reports and different conclusions, but each of these studies does show that it's a valid point to be worried about nursing home and assisted-living abuse.
Elders often face abuse, but it's most often from those they love the most. In a case report on Oct. 3, an elderly woman was discovered in a shallow grave around a mile from where she lived. Her grandson now faces charges related to her death.
When most people think of elder abuse, they initially think of physical abuse. While this certainly happens in plenty of nursing homes around the country, there is another form of fraud you need to look out for: financial. In Florida, police charged an elderly woman's caretaker for making unauthorized charges to her account upwards of $60,000.
Elder abuse is harmful both physically and psychologically. It often goes unreported, so even though statistics may show improvements, it's vital to be cautious. The elderly sometimes do not understand what's happening due to their mental state, while others don't want to bother people with their problems. Still others don't report abuse because of fear or because they have no one to turn to.
Living in assisted living is different from being in a nursing home. Patients do more to help themselves, requiring less care than a traditional nursing-home patient. Assisted-living patients may need assistance with some chores or daily tasks but be able to take care of themselves most of the time.
Elder neglect is not only physical but also emotional. As people age, they are likely to become more isolated for a few reasons. The first is that they may lose their spouses or close friends. The second is having to move to a nursing home or assisted-living facility. A third is because their children are grown and may not be nearby to assist them.
Florida residents who have to find nursing home accommodations for a loved one often have numerous concerns about safety. While it can help to take important precautions such as researching the home and keeping a watchful eye out for signs of abuse, it can still be hard to achieve certainty that staff is treating one's family member properly at all times. Additionally, it is one matter to strongly suspect abuse; it is another to obtain proof.
Nursing home abuse happens for many reasons. Some include being isolated, societal triggers and even peer pressure. In other cases, neglect is a form of abuse. Perhaps someone working with your loved one is not educated on how to appropriately care for them or the individual takes a dislike to your loved one and tries to ignore them. In either case, the news is not good for your loved one, because they are likely to be harmed.
It is not ever a good thing when you find out that someone you love has struggled as a result of abuse. You don't want to know that your child, partner or parent had to suffer in any way. Unfortunately, the reality is that elders are at a high risk of abuse by others. They may not be able to speak out and being restricted in their movements also hurts their ability to fight back.