Helping your senior parent transition to life in a retirement community or assisted living facility is complicated, and it can be hard to find the right home within your parent's budget. Things become much more complex and difficult if you have reason to suspect your aging parent is the victim of elder abuse. If you have noticed that your parent has unexplained injuries or seems frightened of particular staff members, it's important to take action immediately to protect them. Here are a few important steps to take in this difficult situation:
Document the Signs of Abuse
If you see severe and blatant signs of abuse, it is probably a good idea to call the police right away. In most cases, however, the signs of abuse are much more subtle and gradual, and it's important to begin documenting what you see so that patterns can be identified. Take photos and notes regarding any injuries or changes of behavior you see, and be sure to date everything. You may also want to note which nursing assistants were on duty when the injuries or strange behavior happened.
Seek Legal Advice from a Personal Injury Lawyer
If abuse is occurring, you will need to protect yourself and your parent legally and financially. Elder abuse is an area of personal injury law, and it's a good idea to speak with a personal injury attorney who has experience in this area. They will help you decide the next course of action, whether it's writing a formal letter to the administrator of the facility, filing a lawsuit, or filing a complaint with the state regulatory agency.
Consider Transferring Your Parent to a New Facility
In some cases, your parent may simply be uncomfortable with the staff, and no actual abuse may be occurring. In other cases, abuse may have already began. In either case, it is a good idea to find a new assisted living home for your parent where you know they will be safe and comfortable. Do thorough interviews, talk to other adult children of residents, read reviews, and spend time at the facility until you find one you are very comfortable with. In the meantime, it may be a good idea to have your parent live with you, perhaps with the help of an in-home health aide.
Realizing your senior parent may be the victim of elder abuse is scary and shocking, but it's important to take action immediately. By following these steps, you will be able to protect your parent from further abuse. For more information, contact local professionals like those found at Law Offices Of Timothy L Lapointe PC.