5 Things to Do if You Suspect Elder Abuse

Here at Wellthy, we hear difficult, sad, and horrifying healthcare stories a lot. The ones that we hate most are those that involve elder neglect and abuse… how could someone possibly be cruel enough to physically or emotionally hurt an older frail adult?

###Some tips from Wellthy’s Care Coordinators:

  1. Contact the long term care ombudsman

“If your loved one is being mistreated in a nursing, board and care or assisted living facility the best contact is the long term care ombudsman. They are advocates for the residents trained to resolve problems. Reports are kept confidential. All facilities are required to post the phone number for the local ombudsman in a visible location.” -Monique Snyder

  • Report abuse to your local elder care abuse agency

“If your loved one is being mistreated, report it right away to your local elder abuse agency! You are protected against retaliatory action. The only fear to have in reporting is not reporting soon enough to help.” -Luci Belcher

  • Make yourself available

“If your loved one is cognitively able to understand and speak with you, set up a time to talk. Try to make sure you have privacy and won't be distracted or interrupted. Let your loved one know you're concerned about their safety.” -Martha Rodriguez

  • Understand that there are many different forms of abuse

“If you have a loved one who resides in a facility or is being cared by someone at home always remain diligent in watching for signs of physical, sexual, mental, emotional, or financial abuse.” -Martha Rodriguez

  • Talk to the suspected abuser

“Don't be scared to ask questions to whom you suspect abuse from. While you should immediately be suspicious of obvious injuries that are newly formed, such as cuts, burns, and bruises, many signs of abuse and neglect tend to be more subtle.” -Martha Rodriguez

While these are some DIY tips for you and your family, Wellthy is always here to help too!