With advances in medicine, Americans today are living longer than ever
before. As a result, the families of aging parents are dealing with many
new age-related issues that earlier generations did not contend with like
we do today. One of the most noticeable issues is Alzheimer’s –
the most common form of dementia.
According to the
Alzheimer’s Association, “Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of cases.”
While Alzheimer’s mostly affects people age 65 and older, it can
affect younger people in their 40s and 50s. That said, Alzheimer’s
gets worse over time because it’s a progressive disease.
Common signs and symptoms include:
- Disorientation, sometimes severe
- Difficulty remembering
- Difficulty remembering new information
- Mood changes
- Behavior changes
- Confusion about events
- Difficulty walking
- Difficulty speaking and swallowing
Due of the nature of Alzheimer’s disease, it leaves seniors especially
vulnerable to elder abuse because it can prevent them from recognizing,
remembering, and reporting it.
As a result of their impairment, seniors with dementia can easily fall
prey to unscrupulous or violent caregivers who take advantage of their
mental and physical weaknesses.
Often, a dementia patient will complain of abuse, but it will fall on deaf
ears because the caregiver
explains it away as “figments of their imagination.”
Common types of abuse against dementia patients include:
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Emotional or psychological abuse
- Restraining the person
- Isolating the person from family or other residents
- Sexual abuse – nonconsensual sexual contact or activity
- Depriving the resident of medication, food, shelter, medical care, or physical
Unfortunately, professional caregivers are often the people who abuse older
people with dementia. This is especially the case in overcrowded, understaffed
nursing homes and assisting living facilities, or in homes that do not
hire the highest quality caregivers.
If you have noticed “signs” of abuse, such as unexplained bruising
or a strained relationship with your loved one and their caregiver, we
urge you to
Norman Taylor & Associates immediately for effective and compassionate legal advocacy.