With a growing elderly population, the wellbeing and safety of our aging loved ones is a crucial concern. Elder abuse is a very real issue for those who are in the care of others, and you’re right to want to protect your parents, grandparents, or any loved one under your care from such harm. Here are a few ways you can minimize the risk of elder abuse and protect those you love.

Clearly define your loved one’s wishes while they are still competent.

One of the important ways you can make sure your loved one is comfortable and happy is to find out what they want for themselves, while they are still able to make those decisions. Having a plan in place can prevent rushed, last-minute decisions that could land Mom or Grandma in a subpar or unsafe care facility. Plus, following your loved one’s wishes can ensure that they are happy with where they end up, which will improve their happiness and quality of life. If your mother doesn’t like the place where she’s staying, she’s more likely to become depressed or combative, which can reduce the quality of care she is able to receive.

Create checks and balances for money

While it might seem simplest and easiest to have one family member in control of Grandpa’s money and paying the nursing home bills, it can create a lot of family tension, result in choosing an unsafe care environment for Grandpa, and end in mismanagement of funds. Power is known to corrupt, and leaving all the monetary and decision making power up to one person can lead to an abuse of that power, or simply accidental oversights due to the amount of responsibility. Creating a system that has checks and balances can prevent abuse and accidental mismanagement of money. Perhaps one family member is in charge of nursing home expenses, another is in charge of doctor and medical expenses, and a third to manage miscellaneous expenses.

Thoroughly research nursing homes, care providers, etc.

Don’t go in blind when it comes to the people who will be caring for someone you love. Do extensive research on the care facilities you’re considering for Dad by reading patient and family reviews from a variety of sources (not just the place’s brochures), get recommendations from trusted doctors and family friends, visit the facility in person, and even do a trial run if possible where your loved one stays there for a few days to test the waters and find out if it’s a good fit.

The same goes for in-home nurses and care providers. Hire people through reputable companies after reading lots of patient and family member reviews, do thorough background checks, and meet with the care providers yourself before trusting them with your family member. Since this person will be in your or your loved one’s home, make sure that valuable items and documents are kept in safe places where they won’t be tampered with.

If you’re concerned about the way your elderly loved one has been cared for, whether by a nursing home, hospital, caretakers, or other family members, speak with a lawyer. Contact the Epstein Law Firm today.

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