6 Ways to Lower the Risk of Elder Abuse

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Many seniors rely on other people to help them complete a variety of daily tasks as they grow older, which puts them at risk of being mistreated and taken advantage of. Here are some of the ways family caregivers can reduce their senior loved one’s risk of various types of abuse. 

1. Try to Boost Brain Stimulation

Seniors with good memory and critical thinking skills can do most of their daily activities independently, especially financial tasks, which could reduce the risk of financial abuse. Instead of relying on someone else to pay the bills, make withdrawals and deposits at the bank, or handle other financial duties, your loved one can do these things independently. Your loved one should continue to store his or her personal and financial information in safe places that others do not have access to. 

To prevent elder abuse, choose a professional caregiver from a reliable home care provider. Although it may be challenging to find a reliable, highly rated home care company, Mesa, Arizona, families can turn to Home Care Assistance. Our respite and live-in caregivers are expertly trained to assist seniors with a wide array of important tasks, including cooking, bathing, light housekeeping, and exercise.

2. Prevent Isolation

Some scammers convince seniors that they need to shut out their family caregivers and other trustworthy individuals. This is known as emotional elder abuse, and it often results in isolation and depression. Visit your loved one as often as possible. Encourage other trusted family members to check in with your loved one as well, or hire a professional in-home caregiver to keep him or her socially active and report his or her daily activities to you and other family caregivers. 

For families living in Mesa, AZ, respite care can be a wonderful solution when their aging loved ones need companionship and socialization a few hours a week or just need minor assistance with daily household tasks. At Home Care Assistance, we thrive on helping seniors maintain their independence while living in the comfort of home.

3. Choose a Trustworthy In-Home Care Provider 

Do some research pertaining to the provider’s previous clients, in addition to its hiring process. A trustworthy in-home care provider will give you access to its credentials, including licensing and other important details. Make sure to ask how the agency screens its applicants and if they require background checks, as this could reduce your loved one’s risk of elder abuse in the future. 

4. Conduct Random Visits 

If your loved one is receiving in-home care, check in from time to time without scheduling a visit with the caregiver. If your loved one lives with you but receives care while you are away at work, come home for lunch one day without informing the caregiver. Random visits give you the opportunity to find out if your loved one is being neglected while under the care of a professional caregiver. While conducting an unexpected visit, you can verify the caregiver is handling his or her obligations and putting your loved one’s needs first. 

5. Monitor Medications

Seniors who are overmedicated are at risk of being abused physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially. Monitor your loved one’s medication and make sure he or she is taking the right dosage at the right time. Consider using medication management apps that keep track of your loved one’s activity, including his or her body’s response to the prescriptions. 

6. Check Healthcare Bills

Some doctors, nurses, and medical staff are unethical and commit fraud against seniors. They may conduct illegal acts such as charging for services they did not perform or overcharge for the services. Monitor your loved one’s bills to verify the charges are correct, and report any inaccuracies. If a hospital refers a specific doctor and caregiving agency, make sure to ask what is in it for the hospital. Some medical facilities get kickbacks for referring seniors to providers.

If you suspect elder abuse, switch to a new home care provider immediately. One of the most challenging tasks of helping an elderly relative age in place safely and comfortably is researching home care agencies. Mesa families can turn to Home Care Assistance for reliable, high-quality in-home care for aging adults. We offer 24-hour live-in care for seniors who require extensive assistance, and we also offer respite care for family caregivers who need a break from their caregiving duties. Contact us at (480) 699-4899 to learn more about our services and set up a free consultation.