Deciding on a Caregiver for an Elderly Family Member
In a disturbing article published recently by Local 10 News, the news outlet reported that a man reportedly locked up his mother, an Alzheimer’s disease sufferer, in an efficiency that was in horrific conditions. Authorities found the elderly woman living in the midst of bugs, spoiled food, dry urine on the floor, a mattress without sheets, trash, a small air conditioner that didn’t cool the space and a general state of disarray. The woman also did not have access to proper drinking water and while there was a bathroom on site, there were items blocking access. Doctors determined the woman was malnourished and severely dehydrated after the Florida Department of Children and Families became involved in the investigation. The woman’s 50-year-old son, her primary caregiver, has now been arrested and is facing felony charges for culpable negligence of an elderly person causing great bodily harm.
Factors to Consider in Choosing a Caregiver
Perhaps unsurprisingly, Florida is home to more than 5.5 million elders and boasts the highest population percentage of those ages 65 and older in the nation. In a state that is known to attract an aging population from both near and far, the issue of deciding how and where a loved one will continue to age gracefully is very relevant here. There is a lot to think about when choosing a nursing home for a loved one and multiple factors need to be considered. Contemplating these factors in advance can help you ensure that you greatly reduce the risk of yourself or your loved one becoming a victim of elder abuse or neglect.
Ensure that you:
Are realistic about your own abilities. In the disturbing example outlined above, the son who was the primary caregiver reportedly told authorities that he was doing the best he could with his elderly mother. Whether due to physical difficulties, mental or emotional implications or because there are already too many other prior commitments stretching resources thin, everyone is not meant to be a primary caregiver – and that’s okay. Instead of taking on a task that would be difficult to handle appropriately, consider relying on an independent caregiver who specializes in elder care.
Do background research on any potential caregivers. Even after making a difficult but responsible choice to rely on the help of a caregiver, you still need to consider that all caregivers are not created equal. Ensure that you ask people you trust who have personal experience such as family, friends and treating physicians for advice and recommendations. In addition, make a list of questions to ask each potential caregiver about the tasks you’d expect to be performed to ensure you both have a clear understanding of what the caregiver relationship would look like.
Has the Caregiver You Entrusted Failed to Provide Proper Care?
If you or a loved one has suffered abuse and neglect at the hands of a caregiver or nursing home, you may be entitled to seek compensation. As the Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorneys at The Pendas Law Firm, we can help you protect the rights of yourself or your loved one if he or she has been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect. Contact us today to begin with a free, no-obligation consultation.
The Pendas Law Firm also represents clients in the Jacksonville, Tampa, Ocala, Bradenton, Fort Myers, West Palm Beach, Miami, Orlando and Daytona Beach areas.