Nursing home residents who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia are particularly susceptible to abuse and neglect in part because they usually are unable to report or even recognize the mistreatment.
If you believe a loved one who has dementia and lives in a nursing home or similar long-term care facility is being abused, you can and should take action. In addition to reporting elder abuse to authorities, you can benefit from an independent investigation of the care your family member is receiving. In some cases, you may be eligible for compensation to pay for medical care, relocation of your loved one if necessary, and for pain and suffering.
Contact Becker Law Office today to discuss any abuse you think an Alzheimer’s patient is being subjected to in a Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, or Tennessee nursing home. We can advise you in a free, no-obligation legal consultation.
Alzheimer’s Disease and Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect
Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive form of dementia that robs the patients of their memory and mental function, including their ability to perform basic tasks such as grooming, dressing, eating and toileting.
Alzheimer’s may begin with simple forgetfulness, repeating thoughts or fuzzy thinking. But as it progresses, patients lose the ability to recall the words necessary to express their thoughts, as well as the ability to read and write. Eventually, because they cannot think clearly, Alzheimer’s patients require around-the-clock care, which is why many must live in nursing homes.
Other symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease include:
- Social withdrawal
- Mood swings
- Distrust in others
- Irritability and aggressiveness
- Changes in sleeping habits
- Loss of inhibitions
- Delusions, such as believing something has been stolen.
Nursing home abuse is defined as the intentional infliction of physical, sexual, emotional, psychological or financial injury upon a resident of a long-term care facility. Neglect involves withholding food, shelter, medical care or protection from harm.
For an Alzheimer’s patient, neglect may include failure to safeguard against the patient’s self-neglect caused by dementia and inability to perform day-to-day tasks. Alzheimer’s patients must be protected from their propensity to wander from the home, become malnourished or dehydrated, or to harm themselves in many ways, including in accidental falls.
In particular, nursing homes must have security measures in place to ensure that Alzheimer’s patients do not walk away from the facility. In many cases, nursing homes use restraints on Alzheimer’s patients, which may be physical (strap or belts at night, locked doors, etc.) or chemical (sedative medications and antipsychotics). But, nursing home patients have the right to be free of restraints unless they are medically necessary. The use of medications should be explained in patient records.
Because of Alzheimer’s patients’ inability to report or describe abuse they may be suffering, it is important for the loved ones of a dementia patient to be able to recognize the signs of nursing home abuse. And if you recognize abuse of an Alzheimer’s patient in a nursing home, you should act to put an end to it.
Contact Our Experienced Alzheimer’s Abuse Lawyers
If a loved one of yours suffers from Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia and you think he or she is being subjected to abuse in a nursing home, Becker Law Office can help. We’ll investigate and help stop any abuse. We may also be able to obtain compensation for additional medical care your loved one requires, money to have them relocated, and for their pain and suffering.
Call us today to set up a free legal consultation about how one of our nursing home neglect and abuse lawyers can help you. We can investigate and seek justice for you and your loved one.
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