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Dementia patients are most at risk for nursing home abuse

On Behalf of | Dec 12, 2022 | Nursing Home Abuse

Deciding to look into nursing homes for your older loved one is a difficult decision for most people. However, if you decide to make this move, you probably put a lot of time and effort into finding the facility where your loved one will be safe and cared for. 

Unfortunately, even if you do this, abuse may still occur. Some patients are more at risk for this abuse than others. The most at-risk patients in nursing homes for abuse are those with dementia

Why are dementia patients so vulnerable?

Dementia is not a single diagnosis. It includes several disorders and diseases impacting a person’s cognitive ability. One example is Alzheimer’s; however, others exist. 

While this is true, what all dementia patients have alike is a 50% chance of being abused in a nursing home setting. 

There are a few factors that make dementia patients especially vulnerable to nursing home abuse, which include the following:

  • Cognitive decline: Impaired cognitive function can result in older adults forgetting what happened or keep them from knowing they are being abused. 
  • Behavior changes: Sometimes, an older adult who has dementia can have violent outbursts, and this results in those caring for them having a huge overreaction to the situation. 
  • Isolation: If an older person does not have someone visiting them regularly and checking on their condition, then they may suffer abuse that continues without being detected for weeks, months or longer. 

Protecting your elderly loved one

If you believe your elderly loved one was the victim of nursing home abuse, you have legal rights. Be sure to take action, report your suspicions and more. Knowing your legal rights will help you avoid these situations and protect your loved one.