Dementia is relatively common in older adults. In this article, we’ll explain what dementia is and how it relates to nursing home abuse.
Dementia is a loss of cognitive function that interferes with a person’s activities of daily living. It ranges from mild to severe and is more common as people grow older. One-third of people aged 85 or older may have some form of dementia. Dementia has several different types, each with varying symptoms.
Symptoms of dementia can include any of the following:
Dementia happens when nerve cells in the brain called neurons stop working, lose connections with other brain cells, and die. The exact underlying causes of this are varied and some are unknown. Rare genetic mutations can cause dementia in a small number of people.
The five most common types of dementia are:
Because it is relatively common among older adults, many residents of nursing homes have dementia. Unfortunately, symptoms of dementia such as confusion, memory loss, and difficulty speaking can make dementia patients particularly vulnerable to nursing home abuse. This includes things like malnutrition, dehydration, a lack of informed consent, restraint, and neglect.
Families with loved ones with dementia who live in nursing homes are encouraged to be aware of the frequency and risk of nursing home abuse. You should learn the warning signs of nursing home abuse and make frequent check-ins to see if your loved one is showing any of them.
If you believe that your loved one with dementia may have been a victim of nursing home abuse, it is important to report it to the relevant authorities immediately. An experienced nursing home abuse lawyer may be able to help you determine whether or not you have grounds for a legal case against the nursing home to recover compensation for your family’s losses, injuries, and suffering.