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Protecting seniors from abuse when you can’t visit in person

On Behalf of | Sep 11, 2020 | Medical Malpractice |

Having a loved one in a nursing home or other care facility brings many concerns. If you cannot visit that loved one on a regular basis, your concerns only grow. Perhaps the facility has visitation restrictions due to the pandemic, or perhaps you don’t live near the facility. Whatever the reason, you may have a hard time detecting signs of abuse or neglect from a distance. There are steps you can take to stay connected to your loved one and look out for their well-being.

Visit in person if you can

If your own health allows and you live close enough, you may now visit loved ones in-person in Illinois, if the meeting is outside. Unfortunately, the weather won’t allow for comfortable visits outside for much longer. Nevertheless, visiting in-person is the best way to assess the person’s condition and look for signs of abuse.

Request virtual meetings with your loved one

By now, most people are used to meeting face-to-face virtually, using platforms like Zoom or Google Meet. This is a great alternative for monitoring your loved one’s condition. You may need to provide them with a device they can use for these meetings, such as a tablet. Consider using the simplest set-up possible to make it easy for them, or the staff member assisting them, to use.

Ask the facility for weekly reports

Request regular updates. Not only does this help you stay in the loop, but it also lets the staff know you are keeping tabs on the situation. Does the report reflect what you are seeing in your Zoom calls or your outdoor meetings? Ask questions and always share your concerns.

Have a camera installed in the room

If you have genuine concerns and these other tactics are not giving you the answers you need, perhaps a camera would shed light on what is happening in the room. Illinois law allows families this option.

Don’t underestimate the importance of connection

Social isolation has become a real concern for many in the long-term care community. Professionals are finding that isolation can have serious physical and mental health impacts on elderly residents. Although the restrictions on visitors are meant to protect staff and residents from the disease, make sure you stay in touch in any way you can.

Now is not the time to be shy about asking questions and demanding answers if you suspect a problem at your loved one’s facility. If you suspect abuse or neglect in the Chicago area, contact Martin Law, LLC, for legal guidance.