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Nursing Homes Abuse Blog By Jonathan Rosenfeld

Dementia / Alzheimer’s Patients

Dementia patienstElderly patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease are at a greater risk of abuse by those people close to them. This is true whether patients live in a care setting or a residential setting. Their cognitive problems also mean that they are more vulnerable to being taken advantage of by strangers. Through legal protection, supervision, training, and adequate support, many of these abuse situations are preventable.

Because of their increasing dependence on their caregivers, communication challenges, loss of capacity, and cognitive impairment, people with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease are at risk for neglect, psychological abuse, financial abuse, physical abuse, and verbal abuse.

Increased risk of financial abuse

Even though it is shameful that we have to say it, there are those unscrupulous people who prey upon the elderly struggling with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. A British report suggests that amongst patients who suffer from dementia, approximately 15% of them have been victims of financial abuse. This may include fraudulent sales, scam mail, or cold calling. When asking the caregivers, 62% reported that doorstep salespeople or cold callers had approached the person in their care. Oftentimes this means the loss of finances because of these swindles, but it also causes frustration, exhaustion, and stress within the patient’s immediate family.

Additional issues facing the disabled

Complicating the care for patients struggling with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease is the fact that no two patients exhibit the same symptoms. Because no two Alzheimer’s patients will experience the same problems, it can make it difficult for unqualified staff members to identify or deal with the issue.

As a family member or loved one, one of the best things to do is learn more about the issue. This way you have a better idea of what to expect as this issue continues to develop. Knowing what is normal and what is considered out of the ordinary can make it easier to identify issues such as abuse.

Changes in personality and behavior

Those struggling with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease experience brain changes. This can affect how they feel or how they behave. Some of the more common changes include:

  • Delusions (for example, the idea that something has been taken from them)
  • Loss of inhibitions
  • Wandering
  • Changes in sleeping habits
  • Irritability and aggressiveness
  • Distrust in others
  • Mood swings
  • Social withdrawal
  • Depression

As you can see from that brief summary, it takes a qualified staff member to handle patients who struggle with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.

What you can do when you suspect your loved one has been mistreated at a skilled nursing facility?

The truth is that in many cases, neglect, mistreatment, or abuse of elderly patients is unintentional. There are times that untrained staff members are pushed beyond their capabilities because of the special skills required to interact with these patients. However, it is important to remember that while this may be unintentional, it is never an acceptable excuse.

It is up to the nursing home, daycare, or any other care facility to provide specialized caregivers who are able to handle the unique needs of patients struggling with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. If you believe someone you know and care about is being mistreated or not receiving the type of care that their mental state requires, it is important to speak out and seek legal action. Without you taking that first step, chances are that nothing is going to change.

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Memory Care Facilities Emerging Specialty In Senior Care Industry

Posted in Dementia / Alzheimer's Patients

As work continues on a 23,000-square-foot memory care center in Weston Wisconsin, it is important to remember that this is just one of the many facilities currently being built throughout the country. Because of the increased number of people who have memory-related illnesses, these types of ‘memory care facilities’ are only going to increase in… Continue Reading

Use Of Antipsychotic Medications Soars In Nursing Homes

Posted in Dementia / Alzheimer's Patients

Nursing homes throughout the country are resorting to the use of powerful antipsychotic drugs in order to ensure that nursing home residents are ‘less difficult’ to deal with. This goes on despite the fact that there have been many different warnings that reveal that elderly patients with dementia may not survive this type of treatment…. Continue Reading

Alzheimer’s Patients Wanders Blocks To His Death

Posted in Dementia / Alzheimer's Patients, Elopement & Wandering

When it comes to caring for patients with dementia and Alzheimer’s, one of the most significant threats to the patient remains– themselves.  Yes, we spend a good amount of time here discussing how outside influences– poor care, mistreatment perpetuated by other residents, a medication mix-up ect. can impact the well-being of nursing home patients.  However,… Continue Reading

At Home Or In A Hospital, Alzheimer’s Patients Need Specialized Care

Posted in Dementia / Alzheimer's Patients

With over 5 million people suffering from Alzheimer’s in the U.S. alone, it has become a strain on the families and healthcare system that try to help the victims of this disease. Part of making their lives as stress free and comfortable as possible is giving them a familiar environment where they feel safe. Unfortunately,… Continue Reading

Death of resident at assisted living facility. Are some ALF’s guilty of trying to do too much?

Posted in Assisted Living Facilities, Dementia / Alzheimer's Patients

For many blog regulars, the flurry of discussion about troubling events at Assisted Living Facilities is enough for them to think that we’ve re-named this site to the Assisted Living Abuse Blog.  While I can assure you that we have no plans to change our url structure, the profusion of concerning incidents at Assisted Living… Continue Reading

Illinois Officials Begin Examination of Nursing Home Procedures Following Elopement Of Alzheimer’s Patient

Posted in Dementia / Alzheimer's Patients, Elopement & Wandering

The Chicago area has been struck by a snap of arctic weather lately.  It’s the kind of weather that quickly brings a chill to every part of your body regardless of how quickly you can do what needs to be done and get back to a warm area. When I read news clippings about a… Continue Reading

The True Costs of Caring for a Loved One With Alzheimer’s

Posted in Dementia / Alzheimer's Patients, Economics

(Caption: Alzheimer’s disease can be highly stressful for caretakers.) When Andrew “Bud” Kangas, of Appleton, Wisconsin, learned he had Alzheimer’s disease, he quickly handed over his finances to a family member. Like many Alzheimer’s sufferers, he simply became overwhelmed by his caretaking costs. “It’s been a financial problem and we’re trying to get that under… Continue Reading

Are too many nursing home patients receiving psychiatric drugs?

Posted in Dangerous Drugs, Dementia / Alzheimer's Patients

If you ask government inspectors, the answer is a resounding— YES.   Today, physciatric drugs– and anti-psychotic drugs in particular– are prescribed to an astounding 14% of all nursing home patients.  The bulk of the psychiatric drugs are administered to patients with dementia or Alzheimer’s in order to calm their potentially aggressive behaviors. Despite the… Continue Reading

Jury Finds Nursing Home Responsible For Alzheimer’s Patients Injuries

Posted in Dementia / Alzheimer's Patients

After two hours of deliberations a Kentucky jury has awarded a former nursing home patient more than $1 million in damages for injuries she sustained while a patient at the facility.  The nursing home negligence lawsuit alleged that Cambridge Place Nursing Home in Lexington, KY was negligent in looking after an Alzheimer’s patient who managed… Continue Reading

Facilities Need To To Ensure That Dangerous Materials Are Properly Safeguarded To Prevent Injuries

Posted in Assisted Living Facilities, Dementia / Alzheimer's Patients, Nursing Home Injury

Depending on the individual, even the most mundane parts of a long-term care facility can pose a risk of harm.  While we normally associate an injury at a long-term care facility with an error committed by staff or a faulty device, many facilities– and particularly those that care for the developmentally disabled— need to take… Continue Reading

“Awakenings” Program Helps Improve Quality of Life for Alzheimer’s and Dementia Patients

Posted in Dementia / Alzheimer's Patients

All too often, nursing home residents with Alzheimer’s and dementia are overlooked and over-medicated. Perhaps this arises from serious miscommunications, or – more likely – a deep misunderstanding from staff. What makes the situation so tragic is that these are the very patients who truly need the most sensitive care. Luckily, a nursing home chain… Continue Reading

Nursing Home’s New Approach To Alzheimer’s Care Promises To Improve The Quality Of Life For Patients

Posted in Dementia / Alzheimer's Patients

At many nursing homes, patients are thrust into daily routine that has little regard for their personal preferences or individual care needs.  After all, if there were hundreds of patients on individualized schedules it would be difficult for staff to make sure each patient got the care that they require. Right? Or, maybe not? An… Continue Reading

Jury Blames Manor Care Nursing Home For Dehydration Death Of Patient

Posted in Dehydration, Dementia / Alzheimer's Patients, ManorCare

After just two hours of deliberation, a West Virginia jury has awarded a family of a deceased woman $91.5 million in damages against Heartland of Charleston, a Manor Care facility.  The verdict is comprised of $11.5 million in compensatory damages and $80 million in punitive damages against the facility.  The nursing home lawsuit alleged that… Continue Reading

Criminal Charges Brought Against Nursing Home Workers Who Allowed Resident To Freeze To Death

Posted in Dementia / Alzheimer's Patients, Elopement & Wandering

  Criminal charges have been brought against three nursing home workers on duty the night an Alzheimer’s patient wandered from Texas nursing home to his death.  The three were employed in various capacities at a facility known as Tumbleweed Nursing Home on the evening of February 3rd of this year. Surveillance video from the nursing… Continue Reading

Caregivers Must Exercise Patience When It Comes To Caring For Alzheimer’s Patients

Posted in Dementia / Alzheimer's Patients

Nursing aide to be charged with injury: kxan.com Frustration is likely to blame for an episode of elder abuse at a Texas nursing home where a CNA attacked an Alzheimer’s patient she was trying to get dressed.  Staff members at Wesleyan Nursing Home, notified nursing home administrators when they saw the CNA grab the patient… Continue Reading

Another Assisted Living Patients Wanders From Facility To His Death

Posted in Assisted Living Facilities, Dementia / Alzheimer's Patients

Today, I’m noticing that there are many assisted living facilities that simply view monitoring their patients as an afterthought and many residents who likely require supervision aren’t getting as much as they require for their optimal functioning. Sure making a determination as to: how, if, or when an assisted living resident can leave the facility… Continue Reading

State Fines Nursing Home Where Patients Drowns In Puddle In Front Of Facility

Posted in Dementia / Alzheimer's Patients, Elopement & Wandering

Wandering in a potentially deadly problem for nursing home patients with dementia and other medical conditions that make them unable to appreciate the dangers around them. While not a common problem, wandering from nursing homes puts particularly vulnerable patients at risk for harming themselves when they find themselves in the outside world with no one… Continue Reading

Government Continues To Pay For Nursing Home Patients To Receive Unnecessary Antipsychotic Medications

Posted in Dementia / Alzheimer's Patients

After analyzing data from Medicare claims and nursing homes’ medication paperwork from 2007, officials have established that many nursing home patients are receiving anti-psychotic medications to treat medical conditions for which the drugs were never intended to be used. The disturbing conclusions about the unnecessary medicating of nursing home patients was recently made public in… Continue Reading

Alzheimer’s Patient Fractures Her Neck As She Attempts To Crawl Out Of Window

Posted in Dementia / Alzheimer's Patients

Authorities in Missouri are looking for answers regarding how and why an Alzheimer’s patient at Springfield Skilled Care Center fractured her neck.  Police were summoned the the Missouri nursing home after the staff at the facility discovered the patients dead body on the ground outside of the facility. A preliminary autopsy demonstrated that the patient… Continue Reading

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