Unfortunately, dementia is a condition that commonly accompanies advanced age. According to the National Institute of Health, dementia affects about 3.4 million or more individuals in the U.S. Dementia increases with age, with those reaching 90 and above comprising the greatest number. It is also recognized by most medical associations that individuals with dementia pose a higher risk for abuse and neglect in nursing homes and dementia care units due to their impaired ability to think, remember, communicate, or reason. This can make them vulnerable targets for unscrupulous caregivers and care unit staff.
If you have a loved one whom you believe has suffered some type of abuse or neglect, you should speak with a Montgomery dementia care unit attorney who is experienced in this practice area. At Sawyer Law Firm, attorney J.P. Sawyer has focused most of his practice on elder abuse and neglect in all kinds of facilities and care homes. Our firm is dedicated to righting the wrongs and seeking justice for these vulnerable individuals and their families who have been harmed by others charged with their care.
Has your loved one been neglected or abused in a dementia care unit? Get a free consultation with Montgomery nursing home abuse attorney J.P. Sawyer by contacting us online or at (334) 539-0604.
Abuse & Neglect in Dementia Care Units
Dementia is not a disease, but a term used to describe older individuals who develop cognitive problems as they age.
Determining if your loved one has been abused or neglected in a dementia care unit can be complicated because of the above manifestations. Because those suffering from dementia cannot easily differentiate between the present and the past or between the real and the imagined, it can be difficult to discern the truth. However, in many cases, those with dementia are taken advantage of for these very reasons by untrustworthy individuals. Furthermore, dementia patients may not report any wrongdoing because they don’t remember it, don’t have the awareness to know that it is happening, or fear no one will believe them.
Dementia can consist of:
Short-term and long-term memory loss
Difficulty solving problems or making decisions
Difficulties with the ability to think
Difficulty doing familiar tasks
Time and space disorientation
Inappropriate emotional reactions, such as antagonism and anger
The best way to discover or prevent your loved one from being the victim of abuse or neglect in a dementia care unit or facility is to maintain close observation and understand the signs that would point to such behavior by staff and others. These signs can indicate physical, emotional, sexual, and financial abuse. They range from malnutrition and dehydration to bruising, broken bones, bedsores, unexplained emotional responses to caregivers indicators of overmedication, restraint, depression, and more. Where possible, it is vital to document such abuse or neglect with photos and other evidence.