Articles Tagged with dementia

financial abuse of elderly in nursing homes

Finding Out If Someone Is Stealing Your Loved One’s Money

The Office of Financial Protection for Older Americans has reported nearly $1.7 billion worth of suspicious activities, including actual losses and attempts to steal older adults’ funds. Unfortunately, the elderly, especially nursing home residents, are easy victims of financial abuse. And officials say these occurrences likely only represent a small fraction of elder financial abuse incidences. Family members or someone the victim may know, such as a long-term care facility worker, are too often the guilty party in these cases.

Financial losses are almost always more significant when the older adult knows the suspect. In 2017, the average loss per person was about $50,000 when the older adult knew the suspect and $17,000 when the suspect was a stranger. This is because residents may be very trusting to their caregivers and family members. In addition, the National Council on Aging estimates that more than 20 percent of nursing home residents are victims of financial abuse, and residents who suffer from memory disorders such as dementia are taken advantage of more often. These patients have trusting behaviors and cognitive disabilities, making them highly susceptible to the exploitation or mismanagement of their personal funds.

what are the stages and signs of dementia
An increase in those with declining cognitive abilities – such as dementia – affects an estimated 230,000 people in Illinois, according to the state’s Alzheimer’s Association. That number is expected to increase by 13 percent by 2025. Alzheimer’s is a progressive disease that can move slowly and requires unique support for individuals in each of the three stages: early (mild), middle (moderate), and late (severe). Many of the steps can overlap and symptoms become identified as dementia, which is the mental decline that accompanies Alzheimer’s patients.

  1. Early-stage Alzheimer’s (mild) 

In this stage, a person may still live independently, be employed, and have close relationships with friends and family. Their symptoms may not be as noticeable to them, but those close to them may start to identify early signs such as:

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a new virus impacting the nearly 1.4 million patients residing in nursing homes and rehab facilities across the U.S. These individuals include the elderly and severely disabled people who are especially vulnerable to the coronavirus. Coronavirus can lead to a respiratory illness with symptoms such as a cough, fever, and shortness of breath. In a growing number of cases, it can be more severe than the flu, and dying from the virus is much more likely for older and health-compromised people.

There is a select group carrying characteristics that put them at higher risk of illness and death related to an infectious disease due to cognitive limitations, which impair their ability to respond to an emergency. This group includes those with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. Unfortunately, dementia, a form of Alzheimer’s, is already “one of the only top-10 cause of death in the U.S. that cannot be prevented, cured or slowed,” says the Alzheimer’s Association. A growing majority of these individuals depend on care provided by others to manage their daily activities, medications, financial needs, and to keep them in safe environments and reside in nursing homes.

Steven Levin Speaks with Chicago’s ABC7 About Coronavirus and Understaffed Nursing Homes

Nursing Home Industry Makes Plea for Protective Masks and Gowns for Workers

On Friday, March 13, Illinois nursing homes, along with every other long-term care facility in the U.S., were told to shut down visits to residents, take steps to isolate residents from one another and start screening for coronavirus symptoms. In Illinois, a nursing home located southwest of Chicago is battling the state’s first long-term care facility coronavirus outbreak. On Wednesday, March 19, nearly 50 people, including both residents and staff at the Chateau Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Willowbrook, were tested positive for the highly-contagious disease. Many more staff and residents are expected to be confirmed. Worldwide, “more than 200,000 cases of coronavirus have been reported, and about 8,200 have died,” according to the White House.

Adding concerns to an already highly susceptible group of people, comes a plea from the industry leader representing the nation’s 15,600 nursing homes. David Gifford, chief medical officer at the American Health Care Association, is calling for drastic support efforts and warning that many of these facilities are likely to run out of the tools, resources, staff, and personal protective equipment necessary to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and treat infected residents. Gear includes protective masks and gowns. The industry group has asked other health care facilities such as dental offices to donate any unneeded supplies to nursing homes in their communities.

taking care of alzheimers

Alzheimer’s and Dementia Residents Can Struggle with Communication

According to the latest Alzheimer’s Association report, an increase in those with declining cognitive abilities impact an estimated 230,000 people in Illinois, a number that is expected to rise nearly 13 percent by 2025. Dementia, a form of Alzheimer’s, is one of the only top-10 causes of death in the U.S. that cannot be prevented, cured, or slowed.

The majority of individuals diagnosed with dementia grow to rely on care provided by a nursing home to help manage their daily activities, medications, financial needs and assist them while residing in a safe environment. And as their dementia moves into later stages, help in communicating will also be required. The person may not be able to speak, or when they do, they may present lost in thought or provide confusing responses.

Nationally Respected Attorneys

Three Illinois Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Cases That Gained National Attention in 2019

Levin & Perconti is a nationally renowned law firm concentrating in all types of nursing home abuse and neglect claims as well as personal injury, medical malpractice, and wrongful death lawsuits. The firm’s founding partners, Steve Levin and John Perconti were among the first nursing home lawyers in Illinois and are highly regarded among their peers and adversaries for their outstanding work on behalf of victims of abuse and neglect.

Today, the Chicago based firm stands behind three decades of winning experience in defending residents who have had their rights violated and become injured while under the care of others. This is a brief review of three nursing home abuse and neglect cases represented by Levin & Perconti lawyers that made national and local news headlines in 2019.

Senior Living and Music

New Study Finds Hopeful Link Between Patients with Dementia and Music

Dementia, a form of Alzheimer’s, is “one of the only top-10 causes of death in the U.S. that cannot be prevented, cured or slowed,” according to the Alzheimer’s Association in Illinois. The majority of individuals diagnosed with dementia symptoms grow to rely on care provided by a nursing home to help manage their daily activities, medications, financial needs, and assist them while residing in a safe environment.

For decades, physicians and families of nursing home residents have fought against the misuse of antipsychotic drugs to treat dementia symptoms rather than look to alternative treatments. Researchers now say findings related to how the human brain responds to a familiar song at super speed could be used to help calm patients battling dementia.

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Your Holiday Nursing Home Visit Could Be Lifesaving

During the busy holiday season, an already understaffed nursing home care team becomes even more limited, leaving many needs of nursing home residents to go unmet. For the workers who are on staff, they become stressed and easily overwhelmed, creating a rise in the number of incidences of neglect and abuse of residents. This season, we encourage the family and friends of those residing in skilled nursing facilities to make it a priority to visit frequently and unexpectedly check-in on those responsible for providing care. Even a weekly call or stop during this time may be enough to ensure the quality in the services you expect for your mother, father, sister or grandparent is being met.

Unfortunately, even substandard care is sometimes coated, and dangerous abuse and neglect symptoms are hard first to recognize. During your visits, be sure to look for these troublesome signs of maltreatment provided by the Nursing Home Abuse Center. Be sure to report any findings or concerns you have immediately.

dementia patients

Dementia Residents Are Easy Targets for Nursing Home Abusers and Bullies

For nursing home residents with dementia, a form of Alzheimer’s, daily care is largely dependent on others. Nursing home workers of many types assist these patients in managing daily living activities such as bathing, dressing, and eating, exercising, managing their medications, and even overseeing finances. Dementia patients require extra attention and guided support as they are naturally prone to higher personal injury rates, infection, and falls but also more likely to become a victim of abuse and neglect, have their privacy violated and also be bullied by both nursing home workers and other residents. All residents, no matter what their situation, have the right to privacy, dignity, respect, and freedom. They should be treated with consideration and be free from all types of mental and physical abuse.

It’s important to remember that nursing homes must meet these federal residents’ rights requirements to continue participation in Medicare or Medicaid. If not, they must be held accountable.

elder care attorneys

Did You Know Illinois Has Dementia Friendly Communities?

Located about 30 miles northwest of Chicago, the City of Elgin is one of the state’s newest dementia friendly communities aimed to support those living with the disease and their caregivers. An advisory council for the cause includes the city’s library staff, the mayor, a legal team, home care providers, the office of state Sen. Cristina Castro, Advocate Sherman Hospital leaders, and both the Elgin Police Department and the Elgin Fire Department. These trained workgroups hold open and friendly gatherings and guided activities at local businesses unique to those with dementia. Resources are also offered to help community members learn how to interact with people who have dementia. The council provides much-needed support and a place for caregivers to meet up as well.

Currently, six communities in Illinois are recognized as being dementia friendly by the group Dementia Friendly America. Those include:

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