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Nursing Home Residents with Dementia Are Often at a Higher Risk for Neglect and Abuse

Posted on in Dementia

IL nursing home lawyerFew would argue that dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are some of the most tragic illnesses imaginable. These illnesses affect a sufferer’s memory, personality, and cognition. Nursing home residents with dementia are often at a higher risk of being neglected or abused for a variety of reasons. Many times, they are also unable to report this abuse. Because of this, it is crucial for loved ones to be vigilant for signs that could indicate nursing home neglect and abuse.

Wandering is a Life-Threatening Concern for Residents with Alzheimer’s Disease

Illnesses like Alzheimer’s disease can lead to severe confusion and agitation. Some sufferers do not realize that they are in a nursing home for their own benefit. They may believe that they need to “escape” the facility to avoid harm. They may also accidentally wander out of the facility or into dangerous areas within the facility. Just recently, a nursing home resident suffering from dementia was discovered in the facility’s walk-in freezer. Sadly, the elderly woman had passed away by the time authorities located her. Nursing home staff have a moral obligation as well as a legal duty to supervise residents at risk of wandering and elopement. If a nursing home’s negligence leads to a resident’s injury or death, the facility may be liable for damages.

Unreasonable Restraint and Intentional Abuse

Another major concern for nursing home residents with dementia is the risk of unreasonable restraint. The Illinois Nursing Home Care Act states that no resident may be physically or chemically restrained as a “punishment” or for the staff’s convenience. Unfortunately, this does not stop many nursing homes from using physical restraints or chemical sedation for exactly these purposes.

Intentional physical abuse may also be leveled at a vulnerable nursing home resident. Sufferers of dementia often become disoriented and confused which can lead to obstinance. Some nursing home staff become frustrated with nursing home residents who do not comply with requests and take out this frustration through psychological abuse or physical violence.

Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

Individuals with loved ones in a long-term care facility such as a nursing home should always be watchful for signs of nursing home neglect and abuse. Your loved one may be suffering from mistreatment if he or she is dehydrated or malnourished, has unexplained bruises or other injuries, or if he or she appears fearful or agitated. If you have concerns about your loved one’s safety and staff do not take your concerns seriously, this may be a sign that your loved one is not receiving the high-quality care he or she deserves.

Contact a Cook County Nursing Home Injury Lawyer

If your loved one was injured or killed by the negligent or intentionally harmful actions of a nursing home, contact Schwartz Injury Law. Our Chicago nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys are dedicated to holding the negligent nursing home accountable and obtaining compensation for victims and their families.

Sources:

http://www.centeronelderabuse.org/docs/pwdementia_factsheet.pdf

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/crime/ohio-department-of-health-investigates-trotwood-nursing-home-freezer-death/ar-BB199wqr

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