Seniors and Dependent Adults Can Be at Risk for Elder Abuse
When your elderly loved one or dependent adult is hospitalized, it is important to watch for elder abuse injuries. Three key areas to monitor are your loved one's skin condition, mobility, and medication.
When your loved one is in one position for too long, the skin can be damaged and pressure sores (bed sores) can form. These painful open sores are vulnerable sites for infection to enter the body.
Watch your loved ones skin condition. Make sure they are kept clean and dry. If they are confined to a bed or wheelchair, their position needs to be changed frequently, and they should be lying on a pressure-reducing mattress.
Falls by patients is a frequent danger in hospitals. You want to make sure the call system can be reached easily and that staff responds promptly to calls. For those who need restraints, make sure the most appropriate ones are being utilized.
Over-medical can make your loved one sleepy or lethargic. Their medication should be consistent with their physical condition and not being used to manage them.
What To Do
Observe and ask questions. If you are not getting answers that “feel right,” and if the condition of your loved one does not improve, go to the hospital’s management. If that does not work, you may need to seek the assistance of an elder abuse attorney.
Published 4.21.11 in LANG newspapers.