Over 8 million individuals receive some form of long-term health care, as noted by the National Center on Caregiving. Keeping those statistics in mind, it becomes clear that the majority of us will at some point in our lives end up with a loved one in long-term health care, whether that is a traditional nursing home facility, hospice care, an adult day care service, or some other form of long-term care.
When we end up with a loved one in long-term care, it is likely that some issues will arise. This is understandable. Caregivers are only human, and they are often busy, having to attend to many duties and multiple individuals. Fortunately, the majority of issues are relatively minor and easy to resolve. However, there are some issues that are not so minor and must be addressed as quickly as possible to ensure the health and safety of our loved ones.
Here, we discuss some of the most common issues that can arise when we have loved ones in long-term care and the best ways to resolve these issues. We delve into helping a loved one adjust to a new home, how you can contact a bedsore attorney to address cases of abuse and neglect and more.
Your Loved One Isn’t Happy in Long Term Care
It’s an unfortunate fact that all too often, our loved ones find themselves unhappy once placed in long-term care facilities—particularly facilities such as nursing homes where an individual’s actions are more restricted. They may express their displeasure with the facility or even express to you that they would like to move, either to a new facility or out of long-term care altogether. This is only natural, as losing one’s independence can be incredibly difficult and can lead to many different feelings including depression, frustration, and fear.
However, it is also easy to dismiss a loved one’s feelings as simply unhappiness. Among the first things you must do is stop and listen to what your loved one is saying. Have a discussion with them about their concerns and why they do not want to stay where they are. If there is nothing that concerns you about what they say, then ask them to give the facility three months’ time. Often that will be enough for them to find a friend and settle into a new routine.
Your Loved One Has Mental Decline
When your loved one has dementia or similar issues, it becomes that much more important for you to be their advocate. First and foremost, you want to be able to catch any problems that may exist such as abuse or neglect before they become major issues and necessitate a call to a bedsore attorney. However, you also want to be sure to speak up for your loved one and communicate about the little things your loved one may not be able to articulate themselves.
For example, if you know that an elderly loved one likes their food cooked a certain way but they do not have the ability to tell the staff at their facility this information, be sure to pass along this information on their behalf. Likewise, remember to speak up about anything that may be harmful to your loved one, no matter how seemingly small. What may be a minor irritation to a younger and healthier individual, such as a fragrance that causes a rash, could be a much bigger problem for someone in long-term care.
Your Loved One is Living in an Abusive or Neglectful Facility
It is an unfortunate reality that our loved ones may end up in long-term care facilities or with caregivers who may subject them to abuse and neglect. Though not spoken of nearly as often, elder abuse is almost as widespread as child abuse in the United States. This is why it is important to be able to identify signs of abuse and neglect among the elderly and to know how to respond if you believe your elderly loved one is in a potentially abusive or neglectful situation.
There are many potential signs of abuse. Pay attention to your loved one’s relationship with their caregivers as well as their attitude towards them. If they seem anxious, fearful, or angry about their caregivers, it may be worth it to pay closer attention to their relationship and the long-term care facility environment. It is also vital to pay attention to any injuries your loved one sustains while in long-term care, especially if there is no explanation given for those injuries.
Likewise, pay attention to any physical changes such as weight loss as well as problems such as bedsores that are commonly linked to neglect. If you suspect your loved one has been subject to abuse or neglect, visit a specialist for a further investigation and then contact a NY bedsore lawyer in Nassau County or your area to get the representation you need so you can ensure your loved one is properly cared for, now and well into the future.
If you suspect your loved one is suffering from one of the common issues that can arise in long-term care, contact one of our bedsore attorneys for a free case evaluation.