There may come a time in life, if it hasn't already happened, when you are faced with the tough decision of determining where your elderly loved one will be cared for. Often times a nursing home or assisted living care is the best, but last, option. When you leave your elderly loved one in the care of another, you can be a part of preventing the abuse by:
1. Visiting - Frequently visit where your loved one is cared for. Better yet, go by unannounced. Their providers should be welcoming and comfortable with your presence. If not, that may be cause for concern.
2. Create and Monitor the Care Plan - You are the best advocate for your loved one. In order to avoid confusion and create an understanding have a care plan that you, and the agency, can use to ensure the care expected is met.This should be a working document that allows for necessary adjustments as the care of your loved one changes.
3. Ask Around - Consider requesting and checking references before placing your elderly loved one in anyone's care. The Kansas Better Business Bureau, Department of Human Services, etc... are great starting points. After they have arrived, talk to the other residences, staff and outside family members. This will help you to make an informed decision; further, you will build a network of contacts that can help you keep up to date, following placement.
4. Take Action - If you suspect abuse or negligence, remove the victim (as soon as possible), call the Department of Human Services, make a report to the police and hire a lawyer. Keep your family involved too. Signs of abuse include:
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