Elder abuse is something that Georgia families should discuss when thinking about long-term care needs for aging loved ones. While elder abuse is not incredibly common, it occurs more often than many people think. In fact, according to a recent report, state-based agencies responded to more than 235,000 cases of abuse of seniors living in their own homes, and most experts note that elder abuse is significantly under reported. The topic should be given consideration when families join to address long-term care planning needs.
There are many different types of elder abuse, ranging from physical assault to abandonment, neglect and even sexual assault. Abuse can occur in the senior’s own home, or in an assisted living or nursing home facility. Knowing what to look for is an important part of protecting a loved one from harm.
For many Georgia families, long-term care is the preferred approach. These facilities offer access to skilled medical care and a sense of community among residents. Planning for the expense of long-term care is a need that should be discussed in early retirement, if not sooner. Part of those discussions should revolve around how family members will divide the responsibility of checking on their loved one’s condition.
Signs of elder abuse can be sudden withdrawal from social settings, a sense of anxiety or depression, or a sudden change of heart about the facility and its staff. Bruises and other physical evidence may not always be present, but it should also be noted that the mere presence of these marks doesn’t necessarily mean a loved one is being harmed. Family members should work together to visit frequently and be aware of the signs of elder abuse, and should communicate openly with one another about any cause for concern. By bringing these matters up during long-term care planning discussions, everyone in the family can work together toward a shared goal.