Understanding Senior Care & Preventing Elder Abuse

The Panama City nursing home abuse lawyers at our firm understand that aging individuals and their family members face many difficult decisions. When considering living arrangements for an elderly loved one, it is important to understand the different levels of care available.

There are three primary categories of living options for those who may no longer be able to live on their own:

  • Independent living facilities are a great option for seniors who want a little added security. In these facilities, the residents are able to take care of most of their own daily needs. These facilities provide residents with a community, and they may offer help with cleaning or other home maintenance needs.
  • Assisted living is an intermediate level between independent living and nursing home care. Residents are still able to live in their own unit, but they can receive assistance with some tasks of daily living. The facility may help monitor health issues, oversee medications, or assist with bathing and other daily tasks. Meal preparation is often done by the facility, and transportation to doctor's offices or other appointments can be provided. These facilities can help monitor residents with Alzheimer's or other memory disorders.
  • Nursing home care is appropriate when the resident needs more round-the-clock care. This can be broken down further into sublevels of care.
    • Skilled care involves care overseen by a physician and carried out by nurses. It involves daily care, including daily involvement by rehabilitative staff and therapists.
    • Intermediate care is also based on physician-oversight and is provided by trained nursing staff. However, it does not involve daily therapeutic services.
    • Custodial care is the lowest level of nursing home care. Much of the care is provided by aides, rather than professional nurses. It involves active assistance with basic tasks of daily living such as bathing, dressing, using the bathroom, and eating.

Selecting the appropriate level of care is not a one-time decision. The needs of an individual should be periodically reassessed and should be made by the aging individual, family members, and medical professionals working as a team.

It is important to recognize that elder abuse and neglect can occur in any setting. While most people are aware that nursing home abuse is a problem, people do not always realize that abuse and neglect can happen in a private home. All members of our community should be alert for the possibility that seniors may be suffering mistreatment by family members or by paid caregivers. Neglect involves the failure to provide care in a manner that prevents unnecessary harm or pain. Abuse can be physical or can involve emotional mistreatment, such as shaming, berating, or ridiculing an individual.

If you believe an elderly individual is being mistreated, it is important to seek help. You can find information on how to report abuse on the website for the Florida Department of Elder Affairs. Our legal team has experience in representing the victims of elder abuse in Panama City and throughout Northern Florida. Please call. We can help you find the resources to protect your loved one and advocate for the legal rights of area seniors.

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