Being near your senior loved one makes it easier to spot abuse, but you still have options for checking on his or her wellbeing if you live far away. As a long-distance caregiver, you face a few challenges, but they can be easier to handle when you have a strong care plan with a supportive team of people to help your loved one. These six tips can help you spot elder abuse no matter where you live so you can take immediate action to stop it.
1. Listen with Intention
Your loved one might drop hints about abuse that could be missed if you aren’t watching out for it. For instance, he or she might mention a relative stopped by and picked up a few pieces of memorabilia to take home. Although this might seem innocent, it could be a sign of financial abuse if the items were valuable and your loved one wasn’t ready to let them go. Your loved one may also mention being afraid of seeing a particular person because the individual always yells or gets angry.
2. Consider Installing Cameras
Seniors are sometimes willing to allow cameras to be placed in their homes so their caregivers can check on their safety. Being able to keep an eye on what happens in your loved one’s home is helpful for spotting abuse. If nothing else, consider a doorbell camera that keeps you aware of who drops in and visits your loved one on a regular basis.
3. Establish Regular Personal Contact
When you live long distance, you need to cultivate relationships with people who can visit your loved one in person. These people could be neighbors or other family members. Professional caregivers are also an option if you suspect someone your loved one knows is abusing him or her. After a caregiver makes contact with your loved one, you can receive a report on his or her wellbeing to reassure you he or she is safe.
There are a variety of reasons family caregivers should consider respite care. Sonoma County, CA, families often have additional responsibilities that make it more challenging to provide the care their senior loved ones need and deserve. A professional respite caregiver can take over your important caregiving duties, allowing you more time to focus on yourself.
4. Pay Attention to New Health Issues
Your loved one’s current caregivers are responsible for duties such as helping him or her take medication and prepare meals. New health issues that could be related to neglect include things such as overdosing on medication or being diagnosed with malnutrition. If you currently have someone overseeing your loved one’s care but your parent has preventable health issues, you may need to check on what’s actually happening with the care plan.
Families shouldn’t have to worry about finding reliable at-home care. Sonoma County Home Care Assistance is a leading provider of elderly home care. We offer a proprietary program called the Balanced Care Method, which uses holistic methods to promote senior health, our caregivers and Care Managers are available 24/7, and all of our in-home care services are backed with a 100% satisfaction guarantee.
5. Watch Out for Odd Relationships
Seniors can find love in their golden years, but new romantic partners can sometimes be abusers in disguise. Criminals often target seniors with offerings of love and romance so they can swindle them out of their money. An abuser might also spot a senior living alone and form a fake friendship to gain access to the senior’s finances. Ask to meet your loved one’s new friends. If they balk at the idea, abuse could be beginning to happen.
6. Take a Peek at Your Loved One’s Finances
Ask your loved one to allow you to help with overseeing his or her finances. If you spot things that seem off when you’re paying the bills or checking his or her accounts, you need to investigate. Financial abuse can sometimes look like legitimate transactions. For instance, healthcare equipment is sometimes fraudulently sold to seniors who don’t need it.
One of the best ways to prevent elder abuse is to hire a trustworthy, compassionate home caregiver. Though you may be researching multiple agencies that provide elderly home care, Home Care Assistance has much to offer your family and your elderly loved one. We are leaders in the senior home care industry, offering proprietary programs like our holistic Balanced Care Method and around-the-clock assistance from reliable, experienced caregivers. Trust Home Care Assistance to help your loved one enjoy a happier and healthier life in the golden years. Call us at (707) 843.4368 today to talk to one of our compassionate Care Managers about our high-quality home care services.