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Can you recognize assisted-living abuse or neglect?

In an assisted-living facility, most residents won't need as much help as elders in nursing homes or similar medical facilities. Most assisted-living facility residents can do some tasks on their own, but they may need help with others. For example, your mom or dad might be able to get around well, but they may struggle to remember to take medications on time or to clean as well as they used to.

In assisted living, the expectation is that the staff will provide the services that they've offered. There may be a schedule, for instance, which shows that a nurse will check in three days a week to help with showers and hygiene or that a cleaning crew will come to your loved one's room every few days to make sure the home isn't messy.

Since elders can often do more for themselves, noticing neglect can be more difficult in assisted living. However, you can still recognize neglect if you're cautious.

How can you recognize neglect in assisted living?

First, it's a good idea to check in on the days when nurses or other staff members are supposed to arrive. If they don't show up, then it's clear that they're either neglecting their duties or have changed their schedule, both of which require review.

Another thing to do is to look into how your loved one is acting. If they are depressed or seem unlike themselves, it's fair to ask if they're being treated well.

If you believe neglect or abuse is or has taken place, reach out to your attorney. There are things you can do to protect your loved one.

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