Can senior neglect happen in your own home?

By Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo & Plotkin LLP

So many aging seniors are opting for in-home health care over the once popular assisted-living facilities. Common reasons cited for this change are affordability, comfort and a renewed sense of independence. While in-home health care may provide family members with a sense of security, it is important to realize that this change does not eliminate the potential for neglect or abuse.

Nursing home neglect and abuse has received growing attention over the last decade. Cases of sexual assault, battery and heartbreaking neglect, have many seniors and their loved ones questioning their choices for long-term care. While in-home health care is a viable option for many, it opens seniors up to new risks while not completely eliminating the old risks.

With in-home health care, health care is typically provided by the same individual from week to week. This may open seniors up to the potential risk of inadequate health care. Without someone checking in or approving of the services provided, some seniors may not realize they are getting subpar treatments until damage has been done.

In-home health care providers also have ample opportunity to financially abuse their clients. Many times these health care providers are given access to an individual’s most personal belongings and information. For individuals that are still capable of managing their own finances, resources such as credit cards, checkbooks and savings account information may be in plain sight and unprotected.

In-home health care may be a good option for many seniors. It is important when deciding if in-home health care is right for you to discuss your options with your loved ones. There are measures that you can take to protect yourself from senior neglect and abuse. If you or a loved one has already experienced this type of abuse, you may benefit by speaking to an attorney.

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