Abuse and neglect are common occurrences in nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Unfortunately, those with Alzheimer’s or any form of dementia are at a higher risk of abuse and neglect than others living in nursing homes. According to the NCEA (National Center on Elder Abuse), there are more than 5 million elderly dementia patients in the United States. As many as 47% of elderly dementia nursing home residents have been the victim of abuse or neglect.
Alzheimer’s Disease is an Increasing Problem
Alzheimer’s disease is an illness that affects the growing segment of our population – those over the age of 65. With more people living longer, those who will have Alzheimer’s or another type of dementia is on the rise. Along with this rise in dementia comes the increased need for proper care. More and more nursing facility residents are facing some level of decreased mental ability. Caregivers in nursing homes may be unprepared to handle these patients.
Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
There are many ways in which nursing home residents are abused or neglected. When a patient is experiencing diminished mental capacity it may be easier for caregivers to treat them poorly. After all, they may not be able to tell anyone about the abuse and they may not even remember what has occurred. Some of the most common forms of abuse and neglect include:
· Physical Abuse · Mental Abuse · Sexual Abuse · Financial Abuse · Medication Errors · Neglect
Elderly people, especially those with dementia, may suffer from abuse more often when caregivers are unable to properly care for them. Bruises and bedsores are among the most common signs of abuse to the elderly.
Preventing Abuse of Alzheimer’s Patients
The prevention of nursing home abuse is essential but is not always easy. Caregivers must be trained to handle difficult patients, including those with dementia. There should be enough workers to properly care for the number of patients. Those with Alzheimer’s often require more attention than other patients and need special treatment. Talk to the doctor to discuss ongoing dementia concerns. Meet the nursing home workers to ensure that they understand level of care necessary. Visit your loved one frequently and take action if you find any signs of abuse or neglect.
What to Do If a Loved One Was Abused
You are the advocate for your loved one so if he or she has been abused while in a nursing home or care facility you need to take action. The first step is to make sure that the resident is safe and no longer in harm. You may be unsure if abuse has taken place because Alzheimer’s patients may be unable to verify. Discuss your concerns with a reputable attorney. An experienced nursing home abuse lawyer knows how to handle these types of cases and will immediately begin to investigate the allegations. If indeed abuse has taken place, you or your loved one may be entitled to compensation. Discuss the details of possible nursing home abuse with the compassionate attorneys at Levin & Perconti today.
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