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, your parent 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.
Make sure the person providing care for your loved one is trustworthy and kind. One of the most challenging tasks of helping an elderly relative age in place safely and comfortably is researching agencies that provide home care. Portland 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.
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 can be 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 parent, you can receive a report on your loved one’s wellbeing to reassure you he or she is safe.
4. Pay Attention to New Health Issues
Your loved one’s current caregivers are responsible for duties such as managing medications and preparing 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.
Dementia is another serious health issue that can make aging adults more susceptible to abuse. If your senior loved one needs professional dementia care, Portland caregivers are available around the clock to provide the high-quality care he or she needs. Using the revolutionary Cognitive Therapeutics Method, dementia caregivers can help your loved one stay mentally engaged and delay the progression of the disease.
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 your parent’s 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.
When searching for reliable homecare agencies, families want to know their senior loved one will be well taken care of. At Home Care Assistance, our expertly trained caregivers are available around the clock to assist with tasks around the house, provide transportation to medical appointments and social events, and much more. Call (207) 835-4849 today to speak with one of our friendly Care Managers.