The elderly population (those aged 65 and older) has increased by a factor of 11 in the 20th century. With American's population growing older, elder law is becoming more and more relevant in today's society. There is an assumption that all people have basic rights, but those who care for the elderly are often overlooking these rights.
Here are 3 commonly overlooked rights of the elderly that you should watching out for in the future.
1. Personal Hygiene
As the body ages it becomes more difficult for an elderly person to care for themselves. Personal hygiene becomes not only difficult, but also downright dangerous. The bathroom is considered the most dangerous room in the home for elderly individuals.
Being forced to rely on outside help to complete basic hygiene tasks (like bathing) leaves elderly individuals open to neglect. Caretakers who don't want to expend the energy washing and bathing their elderly clients leave these individuals with no choice but to live without basic personal hygiene.
2. Personal Safety
Every person has the right to feel safe within the confines of their own home, but this is a right that many elderly individuals are living without. Caregivers, those tasked with ensuring the wellbeing of their elderly clients, are often the ones creating fear. Since elderly people are vulnerable, caregivers often take advantage of their fragile state and begin to steal from them.
Watching for signs like extra items on showing up on receipts, excessive cell phone use on the job, and requests for money can alert you to a potentially dangerous situation. By keeping a close watch over the actions of the caregivers who come into your loved one's home, you can help your aging loved one to feel safer in their home.
Having access to private moments is something that people can take for granted. Unfortunately, the elderly can lose access to their privacy. When an elderly individual requires outside care, they lose the ability to maintain privacy when it comes to bathing and dressing.
Caretakers who strive to knock before entering a room, respect their client's clothing choices, and take the time to ask about personal preferences can help restore some sense of personal privacy for the elderly individuals they care for.
Understanding that the rights of the elderly are often overlooked will help you recognize ways in which you can better protect these rights for those you love, and yourself, in the future. For more information, contact a lawyer specializing in elder law, such as Cormac McEnery.
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