Is My Loved One The Victim of Neglect?

neglect, grandparent, parent, elder, elderly, elderly neglect, elder neglect

INTRODUCTION

A resident at an assisted living facility should never suffer neglect. This article addresses the responsibilities of a facility, and remedies that are available when neglect occurs. 

RESPONSIBILITIES

Every adult, age 65 and older, is protected under the Elder Abuse and Dependent Adult Civil Protection Act, which includes many laws that protect elders. Facilities that violate these laws are liable for the harm that is done.

Neglect is defined as the negligent failure of any person having the care of an elderly person to exercise that degree of care that a reasonable person in a like position would exercise. For example, a caregiver must use that amount of care that a careful caregiver would use under the circumstances. 

WHAT IS NEGLECT OR ABUSE?

Neglect includes two essential things, including 1) the failure to provide medical care for physical and mental health needs, and 2) the failure to protect from health and safety hazards.

Abuse includes such things as physical abuse or withholding goods or services that are necessary to avoid physical harm or mental suffering.

There are many different types of neglect, including:

(1) Failure to assist in personal hygiene.

(2) Failure to provide medical care. 

(3) Failure to protect from health hazards.

(4) Failure to prevent malnutrition or dehydration

WHAT TO DO IF YOU SUSPECT NEGLECT

  • If you suspect abuse, you should document the neglect, doing such things as
  • Taking notes of behavior changes.
  • Taking photographs of injuries or medical conditions.
  • Getting statements from witnesses to the condition.

For example, take photographs of any bed sores you observe. Interview the caregivers about the sore. Take notes on how the sore hurt your loved one.

Contact the facility ombudsman (an official appointed to investigate complaints) to report instances of abuse or neglect. The contact information should be provided by the facility.

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