When Florida families make the decision to put a loved one into a nursing home, it is generally after much care and consideration. They want to be sure that their family member is given the best care possible. Sadly, far too many residents end up becoming victims of nursing home abuse. This is what one man says happened to his elderly mother, prompting him to get the police involved.
It is not uncommon for older people in Florida to live in a nursing home when that becomes the best option for their health care. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse happens all too often to elderly residents who may not have the ability to communicate what is happening to them. Yet, there are ways that a family can reduce the likelihood of abuse happening to their loved one. This is evident after a report from out of state concluded that nursing home facilities with low ratings from Medicare also had the highest number of health-related citations.
It is a sad truth that older people here in Florida and around the country can be particularly vulnerable to abuse. They often don't have the same mental and cognitive abilities as they did when they were younger, so they may have difficulty communicating mistreatment or understanding that abuse is occurring. Some families have decided to take matters into their own hands and have installed web cams in the nursing home rooms of their older relatives to monitor their treatment. Some worry that this could be an invasion of privacy, but others say they only want to protect their loved ones from elder abuse.
Older generations have a great deal to teach those who are younger. However, they are also susceptible to abuse from those around them since they often experience changes in their mental and physical abilities due to age. It is imperative that senior citizens here in Florida are protected by a thorough estate plan, including directives for handling medical and end-of-life care. Recently, the business manager for the late Marvel Comics creator, Stan Lee, has been accused of elder abuse. Authorities allege that the manager stole money from Lee and kept him from seeing his family against his will.
Hurricane season is fast approaching in Florida and, with it, the threat of power outages. Nursing homes are particularly at risk of issues caused by power outages because of the threat of heat exposure to the elderly residents. Several elderly people died of heat exhaustion following hurricane Irma. State elder law has since mandated that an alternate power source be in place in all assisted living and nursing homes.
When people get to their retirement years, they are often counting on the savings and assets they have accumulated during their lifetime to pay for whatever they need. Unfortunately, there are those who try to take advantage of these people and victims may not have full cognitive and physical abilities due to their age. There are laws in Florida and elsewhere to protect seniors from elder financial abuse, which is often perpetrated by family members of the older person. However, one recent out-of-state case shows that sometimes elder abuse can come from outside the family as well.
Though modern technology has brought Florida families together in many ways, it is not without risk. The availability of information online has made everyone more vulnerable, but elderly people may be more susceptible to online scams. Some estimates say that as many as 20 percent of adults over the age of 65 have been affected by financial fraud of some kind. Fortunately, financial experts have several pieces of advice for those who want to avoid becoming a victim of this kind of elder abuse.
Older adults are a vulnerable group of people. Their loved ones often worry for their safety and will do whatever is needed to ensure they receive a proper level of care. When Florida families make the choice to put the elder in a nursing home or assisted living facility, they trust that the caregivers will treat the elders with the same level of attention to detail as they would themselves. Sadly, that doesn't always happen, as illustrated by a recent out-of-state trial where one man has been convicted of elder abuse and manslaughter.
It is sometimes difficult to assess when the duties of a primary caregiver must give way to institutional or professional caregiving for a spouse, parent or other loved one. Nearly half of family caregivers nationwide and in Florida who are 75 and older are caring for a spouse or partner, according to a 2015 report. Caregiving by an elderly spouse may go on until the loved one is approaching full incapacity and cannot participate in assisting any longer or where terminal illness is diagnosed. Consultation with an elder law attorney is therefore desirable and may be more effective if it is arranged early enough in one's retirement years.
It is highly recommended that the many retired persons residing in Florida engage in a process of elder law planning to protect the security of their remaining years. Engaging in elder law research to learn the ins and outs of long-term care planning could provide great benefits. Many people may assume that they will be maintained in their homes until death, but it does not always turn out that way.