While instances of elder abuse cannot always be prevented, there are steps that you can take to help protect your elderly loved ones from suffering from this type of abuse. Even just being aware that elder abuse does happen, especially in places like nursing homes and assisted living facilities, can be the first step of prevention.
Help Elderly Loved Ones Stay Connected to Their Communities
One way you can help to prevent elder abuse is to encourage and support your elderly loved ones in maintaining relationships and staying active in their communities. Since elderly individuals who are isolated are more likely to be taken advantage of, keeping them engaged in social activities and strengthening ties within the community helps lessen this risk.
Support Your Elderly Loved One’s Primary Caregiver
Unfortunately, caregivers tend to be the most likely perpetrators of elder abuse. Even if you believe your loved one is in good hands, if you have a relationship with their primary caregiver, it is a good idea to check in occasionally and ask how they are doing. You can offer your emotional support, which can go a long way toward lessening their stress associated with caring for their loved ones.
Encourage Elderly Loved Ones to Remain Physically Active
Another risk factor of elder abuse is poor physical health. When elderly individuals exercise frequently, their general health tends to improve, and they can reduce their loss of mobility as well.
Protect Your Elderly Loved One from a High-Risk Caregiver
You can also help prevent elder abuse by intervening in the event you believe your elderly loved one is being taken care of by someone who has a history of violence or abuse. Being the primary caregiver to an elderly individual can be taxing emotionally, so it is essential that any caregiver is in good emotional and physical condition and able to handle these stressors.
About the Author
Attorney Steven Peck has been practicing law since 1981. A former successful business owner, Mr. Peck initially focused his legal career on business law. Within the first three years, after some colleagues and friend’s parents endured nursing home neglect and elder abuse, he continued his education to begin practicing elder law and nursing home abuse law.