In 2015, approximately 5.3 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, it is the only disease in the top 10 causes of American deaths that cannot currently be prevented or cured. People with Alzheimer’s disease have varying symptoms, but it is a progressive condition that can lead to increased confusion, agitation and other physical symptoms.
Nursing Home Care Is Essential for Many People With Alzheimer’s Disease
There comes a time when many families make the difficult decision to have their loved one with Alzheimer’s enter a nursing home. Many times this decision is made so that their loved one can be kept safe with better supervision and skilled nursing care than what can be provided at home.
Unfortunately, Alzheimer’s patients’ confusion and communication difficulties may make them easy targets ofnursing home abuse and neglect. Staff who take advantage of residents with Alzheimer’s know that these residents may be unreliable reporters and, thus, the abuse or neglect may be harder to detect.
Signs of Abuse and Neglect You Shouldn’t Ignore
Since your loved one may be unable to report the abuse or neglect herself, it is important for you to be aware of potential signs of nursing home abuse and neglect. These signs may include:
- Behavioral changes, such as increased agitation, fear, and aggression which cannot be explained by a doctor you trust.
- Health changes which cannot be explained by a doctor you trust.
- Physical signs of abuse or neglect including but not limited to malnutrition, dehydration, burns, bruises, and bedsores.
If you notice any of these symptoms or signs then it is important to take immediate action to protect your loved one. Talk to your loved one’s doctor and to an attorney as soon as possible to make sure that your loved one gets the medical care, safe living environment, and fair compensation to live the rest of her days with the dignity and respect she deserves.