New variants of COVID-19 including Omnicron and most recently IHU have led many people to prolong social distancing. Understandably, this extended isolation has had a detrimental impact on the mental health of many elderly adults. While you understandably want the best for your loved one, it’s critical to approach discussions about care with the utmost respect for your elderly loved one’s independence. This avoids not overstepping your elderly loved one’s boundaries.
Decide If Your Family Member Needs Assistance
One of the best places to start is to create a mental checklist of what you should examine about how your elderly loved one lives. Some of the most important details you might decide to examine include:
- If your loved one has a caregiver, whether the caregiver provides adequate assistance
- Whether your elderly loved one lives a lonely, isolated life or whether they live a more social life with others
- Whether your elderly loved one needs assistance with daily living activities, which include taking medication, getting dressed, and performing self-care maintenance
Don’t Forget to Discuss Estate Plans
When getting together with your loved one, you should take time to review your loved one’s plans for their death and incapacity. Sometimes elderly individuals need assistance but are afraid that their loved ones will force them out of their home if they’re made aware of the elderly individual’s challenges with daily living. Instead, you should comfort your loved one that wants to help them live the way that your elderly loved one wants. Your assistance can help to avoid serious complications in the future.
Be Observant of Signs of Neglect
Elderly individuals routinely fail to recognize their limitations. As a result, while visiting your loved one, you should be on the lookout for indicators of self-neglect.
- The elderly individual is abusing alcohol or drugs
- The elderly individual’s home has become much dirtier
- The elderly individual routinely falls
- The elderly person is confused
- The elderly individual can no longer handle daily living tasks like paying bills or cooking for themselves
- The elderly individual’s refrigerator is empty or signs exist that the elderly individual has not been using their kitchen
Staying Alert to Signs of Abuse and Neglect
With the age expectancy in the United States increasing and more people living longer, a growing number of elderly adults are living alone. This type of lifestyle greatly increases the risk of abuse as well as neglect for elderly individuals. The Covid-19 pandemic has only increased this problem as the result of increased social isolation and additional mental stress placed on the elderly. People look for opportunities when victims are at their most vulnerable. The death or incapacity of a spouse, as well as diminished capacity and isolation, increase an elderly adult’s chances of ending up the victim of elder fraud or exploitation.
Contact a Compassionate Elder Law Attorney
If you or your loved one needs help with an elder law issue, one of the best things that you can do is speak with an experienced elder law attorney. Contact Ettinger Law Firm today to schedule a free case evaluation.