Can you spot a sign of elder neglect in this picture?
The man in the photo is wearing dirty clothes. Dirty clothes can be a sign of elder neglect – but not necessarily a conclusive one.
His clothes could be dirty from an afternoon of working in his garden. Or from restoring his 1970s muscle car. Or from neglect.
Other signs of elder neglect can be just as ambiguous, particularly those involving personal hygiene: not only unclean or damaged clothes, but also dirty skin, body odor, infrequently changed adult diapers, and long, uncut fingernails.
Elder neglect can also show up as unclean bedding, bathrooms, kitchens and elsewhere at home.
Some signs – like sleeplessness, loneliness, depression, anxiety, fear, or a growing stack of neglected bills – are more mental than physical. And some – such as anemia, dehydration, recurring illnesses or serious injuries, or malnutrition – are more detectable by doctors than by caregivers.
Another counterintuitive thing about elder neglect is its main causes. All too often, elder neglect results not from evil nursing homes, but from loving people unsuccessfully doing their best.
One major cause of elder neglect is elders themselves, as they lose – and perhaps are in denial about losing – the ability to perform one or more activities of daily living.
It may occur when one spouse can still live independently but just isn’t up to fully caring for a spouse who can’t.
And it may occur when a sandwich generation family caregiver raising children and taking care of parents gets stretched too thin.
Fortunately, there’s a very effective way to deal with elder neglect – and that’s to prevent it.
Senior Insights’ senior care management planning is specifically designed to do just that.
We’ve always been very careful in our hiring process. We conduct background checks on all employees as required by state law. We also conduct drug testing, which, strangely, is not required by state law. Because we deal with humans, there’s always a margin of error, but we mitigate those probabilities through our intense and thorough commitment to turn down a potential client rather than “throw a body” into someone’s home.
We orient our caregivers during the hiring process and at their new client’s home. We want to make sure they fully understand the requirements of a particular client and feel comfortable in giving the very best care. Caregivers, clients and families appreciate our attention to detail and to provide the very best care.
Given the difficulty of dealing with the heath care environment, families and clients love our involvement and advice.
Please click here to learn more about the attention to detail and absolute commitment to provide the very best care that our past and present clients love.