Senior Transportation and Elder Neglect Prevention

file000356994816When older adults continue to live at home with help from a caregiver, elder neglect can become a serious issue. Although some caregivers have medical training and should be expected to care for the elderly in a manner that emphasizes safety, some caregivers are not properly trained and can be implicated in situations of elder abuse and neglect. These situations can become even worse when an older adult needs medical treatment and cannot rely on a caregiver for transport to a hospital or a physician’s office. That is where a new transportation service for the elderly comes in, according to a recent article from the California Health Report.

Mobility is a Significant Issue for the Elderly

Mobility is a significant issue for elderly California residents. Whether an older adult needs transportation to a medical appointment or simply to the grocery store to buy food, a new service can help. Recognizing that elderly Californians often have difficulty getting where they need to—or would like to—go, Eric Wong developed Lift Hero. Lift Hero t is a service that looks a lot like Uber or Lyft, but it is designed specifically for seniors who do not have other modes of transportation.

Wong earned a Master’s degree in gerontology from Columbia University, and afterward decided to work with Lift Hero in order to provide a much-needed service to members of the community who have few options. The company was founded last fall by Jay Connolly with the aim of improving seniors’ health. As the article explains, “isolated seniors are often at the mercy of absurdly inefficient bus routes or impoverished dial-a-ride programs.” When older Californians do not have the option to leave their homes, physical effects may begin to show. “Isolation and despair can lead to dire health conditions like depression, high blood pressure, and alcoholism.”

Sometimes depression and other psychological conditions can result in self-neglect. While we usually hear more about neglect in relation to a caregiver or staff member at a nursing home or assisted-living facility, seniors can also suffer injuries through self-neglect.

Learning More About Self-Neglect

The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) and the Administration on Aging (AoA) emphasize that elder abuse and neglect can take many forms. One of those is known as self-neglect. According to a fact sheet from the NCEA and the AoA, self-neglect is usually “characterized as the behavior of an elderly person that threatens his/her own health or safety.” It is not characterized by a mentally incompetent older adult, but rather by someone who “makes a conscious and voluntary decision to engage in acts that threaten his/her health or safety as a matter of personal choice.” Signs and symptoms of self-neglect can vary, but they can include some the following:

  • Malnutrition;
  • Dehydration;
  • Medical conditions that have not been properly attended to;
  • Poor hygiene;
  • Unsafe living conditions;
  • Unsanitary living conditions; and
  • Lack of necessary clothing, shelter, or medical aids.

Whether an older Californian is at risk of elder neglect or self-neglect, services like Lift Hero may be able to help with one serious issue – mobility. If you have questions or concerns about elder abuse or neglect, you should always speak with an experienced San Diego elder abuse attorney about your situation. Contact the Walton Law Firm today to discuss your case.

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