If are making plans to take an elderly loved one out of a nursing home or other care facility where they’ve been neglected or abused, you may be considering caring for them at home. Whether you envision home care as a relatively short-term solution until you find a facility where they’ll be cared for properly or for a longer period, the move requires a good deal of thought, planning and preparation.
One nurse who has advised families in this situation describes a three-phase plan. This involves:
Discussing the situation with your family: This can include your immediate family in your home (like spouse and children) as well as other family members. Adult siblings, nieces and nephews may be able to share in caregiving responsibilities or at least provide financial help. Will your loved one live in a family member’s home or will they be able to move back to their own home, with caregivers looking after them? You’ll need to discuss the financial ramifications as well and look at all of your loved one’s Social Security, veterans’ and other benefits that can help you.
Preparing the home: Whether you’ll be moving your loved one in to your home or back into their own, you may need to add safety and accessibility features inside and out. This can include ramps, widened doorways, stairlifts, walk-in or roll-in tubs/showers, grab rails and more.
Finding home care and other resources: A professional home care provider can take a great deal of stress off of the family and help you ensure that your loved one gets the care they need. Home care agencies do background checks and handle things like payroll and taxes. It’s essential to find a reliable agency. Your physician and local senior services providers can offer some suggestions.
You may also want to find a senior center in the area where your loved one can spend some time each week socializing with people their own age. That’s one aspect of being in a care facility they might actually miss. Check on transportation options, like dial-a-ride vans that can safely transport them.
If your loved one suffered harm in a care facility, whether through neglect, abuse or medical errors, find out what your legal options are for holding them accountable and seeking compensation. An attorney with experience in eldercare issues can help you.