America is “graying.” The Baby Boomers are retiring, and over the next few decades the percentage of the overall country that is in their traditional “golden years” will steadily increase. This obviously presents a host of challenges at all levels of society–from the individual family up to the national government.
One of the foremost issues implicated by the demographic shift is elder care. Do we have enough skilled nursing facilities, assisted living homes, at-home caregivers, and other support services to accommodate the rising needs? Those are difficult questions. So far, most who have looked closely at the current state of the situation note that we are woefully unprepared to provide the aid that will be needed in the coming year. Not only are advocates worried that there will not be enough access to necessary services, but there are also concerns about the quality of the services that are performed.
Helping Those with Cognitive Challenges
For example, My Elder Advocate published a story earlier this year that examines the lack of properly tailored care in nursing homes for those with Alzheimer’s. The author explains how many seniors with Alzheimer’s end up in nursing homes when their families are unable to provide the aid they require and they cannot live on their own. Yet, despite that fact that so many end up in these facilities, the homes themselves are often woefully unprepared to handle this population with special needs.
Tragically, instead of receiving the special support they demand, many seniors with Alzheimer’s see rapid mental deterioration while in the nursing home–usually leading to premature death.
Instead, to thrive as much as possible despite the challenges presented by their illness, most Alzheimer’s patients need tailored “memory care.” This involves different programs, therapies, and services, that help slow the destructive nature of the cognitive condition.
Our elder law attorneys have frequently championed the value of individualized care. No two residents are identical, and nursing homes need to be pushed to provide the tailored treatment and services necessary to maximize senior’s quality of life. If you believe that a facility failed in that regard and caused harm to your loved one, please share your story with our legal team and see how we can help.
We have worked with many local families whose loved one were hurt because of poor Alzheimer’s care in the nursing home. For example, we represent a family whose husband and father was living in a dementia ward at a local facility. Tragically, the senior was attacked by another resident in the home (also with dementia), and he died as a result of the beating. The facility failed to act appropriately to handle the special needs of the residents.
Nursing homes can fail in other ways which leads to injury. Elopement or failure to properly monitor residents with Alzheimer’s may lead to falls or other preventable accidents. In addition, some home engage in unlawful use of chemical restraints, providing seniors with antipsychotic drugs that they don’t need or that may actually cause them harm. None of these errors are ever acceptable.
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