Wednesday, February 13, 2008

10 Tips for Safeguarding Aging Parents:

1-Have Realistic Expectations: America’s health care system is extremely overburdened; we must be proactive in all aspects of healthcare. Assist your parent by keeping a close tab on prescription & over-the-counter medications.

2-Recognize & Adjust for Diminishing Vision, Hearing or Thinking: Any lessening in faculties or infirmities like diabetes or circulatory disorders may impair mood or mental cognition.

3-Hire Health Aides with Caution: Check your state’s requirements regarding criminal background checks, finger printing, random drug-testing, licensing and whether the company providing aides has litigation against it; call the Better Business Bureau. Hiring privately requires additional legwork.

4-Understand Exploitation Is A Crime: If your parent signs any document they can neither explain nor comprehend the consequences of, they may have been exploited. Report it immediately to law enforcement.

5-Keeping A Watchful Eye: Forensic testing of hair, aide cams, drop-in company, monitoring credit cards and reports, reviewing bank statements by looking for handwriting changes on checks (someone else fills in payee and/or amount) and examining check number sequences are ways some issues can be detected early.

6-Sudden Relationships May be Dangerous: Be weary of anyone who steps over healthy interpersonal boundaries or takes an intense interest in the health, wellness or finances of your parent.

7-Face Multigenerational Family Dynamic Issues: Substance abuse (alcohol or drugs) and dysfunctional families are huge risk factors for the elderly.

8-Be Realistic about Your Parent’s Personality: Seniors with complicated or difficult dispositions are unlikely to develop coping skills as they age and grow infirm.

9-“Do Not Call” List: Unscrupulous telemarketers solicit at-home seniors. Place your parents’ phone numbers on your state’s “do not call list.”

10-Avoid Caregiver Burnout: Most elder abuse takes place in families. It’s crucial that caregivers take frequent respites to avoid stress and fatigue.

Irene A. Masiello is the author of “Paradise Costs-A Victim’s Daughter Fights Back Against Elder Abuse.” Her proactive book contains an actual forensic report to drive home a chilling reality. It offers helpful lists of common elder abuses, exploitative tactics and common characteristics of victims and abusers. Prewritten letters to federal legislators supporting the Elder Justice Act, now before both Houses of Congress, are contained in her book and are available as free downloads at her site,

1 comment:

Ray said...

Very comprehensive list, thank you . The only thing I can add to that is when traveling with an elder always ask for a handicapped equipped room. And don’t leave them alone even for a short time.