Elder abuse is a serious problem in our society. Despite our best efforts, and despite rising knowledge and awareness, we can’t control everyone in the world and no matter how stringent the security measures we take, there’s always someone that slips through. It can be very scary to place your beloved senior parent or loved one into a long-term care facility and trust their well-being to the hands of a stranger. When that trust is betrayed you’re confused, angry, scary and outranged.
You know you need to get your parent out of that situation, but how do you do it, and what steps to take? Learn what to do if you suspect elder abuse, who to call, how to find help, and why it’s vital to to keep a close eye on your senior parent’s well-being.
What to Do if You Suspect Elder Abuse
The first thing you should do if you suspect elder abuse and feel your loved one is in immediate personal danger, is to call for help. This is as simple as dialing 911. If the danger isn’t immediate, but you still have a suspicion that something untoward is going on, you should get in touch with the local Adult Protective Services agency in your state.
What to Expect When You Call for Help
When you put in the call for help, you’ll need to give the name and contact information of the elder, as well as detail your concerns. They might ask you questions to gather information about memory problems, local support systems and family, what incidents of abusive behavior or evidence you’ve seen and the like.
After making a report, your call will be screened, but the APS takes allegations very seriously and maintains confidentiality at all times. Following your call, an investigation will likely be conducted.
A caseworker will be assigned to investigate the situation, and services will be made available if crisis intervention is required. This can include referrals to community agencies for additional social or health services required.
APS will usually be the first to respond to the report, as the agency that’s responsible for both providing protective services and investigating reports of abuse. If allegations are found to be substantiated, APS will arrange for protective services. Law enforcement may be brought in to investigate and prosecute cases of abuse, especially if assault or sexual abuse is found.
Finally, a long term care ombudsman may get involved if the facility involved is a nursing home, and can further the investigation, helping to protect the elder.
Paying for Elder Care
One of the trickiest parts of long term elder care is paying for it. Proper estate planning can help to pay those bills and protect the assets of your senior parent. These plans are essential, especially in terms of healthcare decisions, as they enable you to keep an eye on treatments and potential abuse more effectively.
If you need help to arrange for proper estate planning services, or would just like more information on living wills and healthcare powers of attorney in Cuyahoga County, OH, call Stano Law today.