Improper Care is Abuse – Improper Care is Negligent

Nursing Home Abuse Videos from Paul C. Perkins Jr.
August 13, 2013
Investigating Nursing Home Abuse
October 1, 2013

Guest Post from Sydney Russell at CertifiedCare

Q: What Can We Do to Prevent Elder Abuse?

A: Demand that our loved ones be cared for by educated and certified caregivers.

Q:  Is it better to trust your untrained family member to care for your loved one?

Of course most family members decide to care of their loved one because they love them and want to aid them but they can be abusing their elder and not even know it.

Improper care is abuse.

Improper care is negligent.

Improper care is not fair to the family caregiver or the elder.

This is why it takes an educated and certified individual to cope with the duties and responsibilities of aiding your loved one.

Caregiver Certification

One way for families to feel increased confidence that the person providing care for themselves or their loved one is to insist that their family or professional care provider be certified.  

Caregiver certifications are uniquely designed to prepare the caregiver for home-style caregiving. They typically cover all the basic skills for elder care. 


1) FOOD: Are you well versed in elderly nutrition and dietary needs and how they change over time?  

It can make an enormous difference in disease control for the heart, blood pressure, stroke, dementia, blood sugar; and for healing and maintaining all-important vision as we age.  

2) CRISIS MANAGEMENT:  Are you confident about what to do in any caregiving crisis?

There may be many new questions — What type of housing does your elderly loved one need?  What kind of elderly assistance is best in your situation — should you care for your elderly at home? What are the fundamentals of caregiving, and where do you get quality home healthcare information? What about assisted living or daycare for seniors?

3) STRESS: Do you know how to handle the stress of caregiving? Do you know how to help an elderly person deal with stress in a variety of natural and gentle ways?

Caregivers are legendary for the amount of stress they have to cope with over long periods of time. As we know, our attitude and thinking are of utmost importance, as they can impact the very chemistry and physiology of our brains and moods, and thus our health. It makes all the difference in the world to keep stress at a minimum level.

4) HEALTH:  Are you able to identify the onset of common health issues that affect the elderly?

Your loved one’s clock is ticking and “waiting awhile” could trigger a crisis with an elderly person. A senior’s vision issues, for instance, may be the result of dreaded macular degeneration. There are treatments now that can halt its progress, but they must not be delayed.  Waiting might cause irreparable damage. Likewise, stroke symptoms also resemble those of other conditions- they must be tended to immediately.

5) LAW AND MONEY: Do you know how to responsibly and legally handle another person’s end of life healthcare, legal and financial obligations?

There are a wide range of laws regarding the elderly and how to assist them in handling their finances – a niche called elder law. Lawyers who specialize in elder law assist with matters affecting the autonomy of elderly people, especially personal and financial matters. The specifics of wills, trusts, healthcare directives, power of attorney, to name a few, are included.  If you are someone’s caregiver, you need to know what you are doing along these lines.

6) ADVOCACY:  Do you know how to be a health care advocate?

When you have medical questions, insurance disputes, questions about coverage, or have been denied access for a certain medical procedure do you know how to bring together the talents of doctors, nurses, lawyers, insurance specialists, social workers and healthcare policy and ethics professionals to make sure your loved one gets the best healthcare possible?  Family Caregivers have to be medical advocates.  

7) CONFIDENCE:  Do you need to feel confident that you can handle almost any caregiving challenge that will come up?

 In reality, self-confidence is often a more important asset than skill, knowledge, or even experience. It’s the impression you make.  Your credentials may be impressive, but if your body language or demeanor gives any indication of uncertainty, others will pick up on that.

 People have a natural tendency to trust you more when you seem confident. To the subconscious mind confidence equals competence. Does that seem unfair? Well ask yourself if you would hire someone who seemed unsure of his or her own abilities? Confidence creates trust, and everyone wants to be able to trust the people they do business with or have to rely on. If you want to be trusted by others, you must first trust yourself. To project trustworthiness you must project confidence. To feel honestly confident you must know your stuff.

 8)  TRUST: Do you want others to feel you can REALLY be trusted to know what to do on an ongoing basis for your loved one or client?

 Who would you trust more, all things being equal, a caregiver or a certified caregiver?

 9) CAREER:  Is a career in caregiving something you might consider?

 Certifications are becoming more important than ever, with more and more companies willing to pay for their employees to become certified, especially if the certification exam can be bundled with education and ongoing professional association.

 Two types of certifications are important: First, get a certification within your area of specialty. Secondly, get a certification in a specialty area that will separate you from the pack.

 10) TIPS AND TRICKS: Do you know what the hundreds of tips and tricks utilized by professional caregivers are that can make your experience easier and better for everyone involved?

If you are a caregiver than please be honest with yourself, unless you are comfortable with resolving all of these issues and concerns you could benefit from a comprehensive education and certification program through CertifiedCare.

Paul Perkins
Paul Perkins
Mr. Perkins concentrates his practice in the fields of personal injury and insurance law. In his daily practice, he handles claims involving automobile accidents, slip and fall accidents and wrongful death claims. His insurance practice involves homeowners insurance claims, business insurance claims and automobile damage claims that arise when an insurance company handles the claim improperly.