This October, the Pennsylvania Department of Aging is observing Residents’ Rights Month. They will be educating seniors who live in long term care facilities about elder abuse/neglect and how to prevent it, so seniors can advocate for their rights.
Sadly, elder abuse and neglect is a common problem. As seniors age, they often lose some of their strength, mobility, and even their mental acuity, making them more susceptible to bullying or manipulation. Fortunately, elder abuse can be prevented.
If you are an elder:
Keep in touch with your loved ones. That way, if anything ever happens you have people to turn to.
Get your financial affairs in order. By implementing proper safeguards it will be difficult for scammers to take advantage of you financially.
Maintain an active lifestyle. Simply going for walks with your rollator will help keep your mind sharp and your body fit, and help you stand up to any problems you may face.
Most importantly, if you receive inadequate care or are ever abused, report it immediately.
If you are a family member:
Regularly call and/or visit your senior loved one. This lets them know they have someone they can turn to.
Ask your senior loved one for permission to go over their bank statements to make sure no shady transactions are being made.
Watch for warning signs of abuse or neglect, and if you ever see any, report them immediately.
If you are a caregiver:
Elder abuse and neglect are more likely to occur if caregivers are overworked and stressed out. So remember to take breaks and relax.
Find a support group for caregivers. They can give you strength and help you through the rough times.
If you struggle with drug or alcohol abuse, seek help. Don’t let these issues hurt the ones you’re caring for.
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