Dementia: Higher Risk For Abuse In Nursing Homes?

As your friends and loved ones age, you may be forced to consider putting them in a long-term care facility or nursing home to ensure they have constant access to medical personnel. This is especially true if your elderly loved one is one of the five million people in the United States currently suffering from dementia. Dementia is a progressive brain disease, that causes loss of memory, confusion, disorientation and affects peoples’ ability to communicate, problem-solve, focus and complete everyday tasks. Alzheimer’s disease is a common form of this disorder caused by plaque build-up in the brain. Sadly, people who have this disorder may be targeted as abuse victims in nursing home facilities because of their inability to communicate and defend themselves against their attackers. 

In many facilities, residents that suffer from dementia are placed in units where they can receive more personalized attention and care. The effects of dementia cause these patients to be at greater risk for falls and when neglected, patients may get bed sores. Patients with dementia are often difficult to care for, which may frustrate some caretakers who are made to attend to patients everyday. Unfortunately, nursing home workers may take out their frustrations on these disabled residents and abuse may occur. 

It is important to keep your eyes open for the signs of abuse in your elderly loved one, as they are often unable to communicate the problem to others. They may experience behavioral changes or become even more reserved and quiet. Be sure to keep in close contact with nursing home staff and be involved in your loved ones care as much as possible. 

This information is intended to educate and should not be taken as legal advice.

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