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Taking proactive measures to protect elderly loved ones

For families struggling to care for their elderly loved ones, admitting a loved one to a nursing home may be the best option available. These facilities offer the benefits of around-the-clock medical support and attention that may not be possible for one family caregiver alone.

If you are considering moving your elderly loved one to a long-term care facility or nursing home, you may be concerned that your loved one’s needs will not be met when you are not on the premises. Although cases of nursing home elder negligence and abuse are reported in Ohio, there are steps that you can take to promote your loved one’s safety and secure your peace of mind.

  1. Get to know the administrators, medical staff and caregivers assigned to your loved one. These individuals will have more frequent contact with your loved one than you will. They may recognize a change in personality or shift in mood swings that may indicate negligence. It is crucial to establish a channel of communication and partnership with your loved one's team.
  2. Vary your visiting schedule so that you can observe how each staff shift interacts with your loved one. It can also be helpful to visit during meal times, social events and staff changes to see how your loved one is adapting to these potentially stressful experiences. Is your loved one withdrawn or engaged during social activities? This response may suggest negligence.
  3. Know your loved one’s rights. Ohio has strong elder protection laws in place, but it is necessary to understand these laws before you can seek to enforce them.

Nursing home negligence can appear in forms that are subtle or obvious. When you maintain a constant presence in your loved one’s life, you are taking an important step toward remaining aware of his or her needs, emotional state or welfare. If you believe your loved one is displaying signs of neglect, meeting with a knowledgeable attorney can help you determine the most effective course of action to pursue.

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