Alzheimer's Patients at Increased Risk of Nursing Home Abuse

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It's a scary statistic, especially for Americans with aging loved ones: One in 10 older Americans has experienced elder abuse in the last year.

Unfortunately, the most vulnerable—patients with Alzheimer's or another form of dementia—are at a greater risk of being abused and neglected. Since November is Alzheimer's Awareness Month, the personal injury attorneys at Edgar Snyder & Associates wanted to make sure that caregivers know: a staggering 50 percent of elderly Americans with Alzheimer's disease or dementia have been abused or neglected.

Nursing Home Abuse in Pennsylvania

We feel it's especially relevant to Pennsylvanians; the Keystone State has the 10th-highest number of bad nursing homes in the nation.

Even worse is that abuse of Alzheimer's patients often goes unreported. This happens because:

  • Alzheimer's patients are unable to report the abuse or neglect.
  • Authorities may not believe abuse allegations made by patients suffering from Alzheimer's.
  • Patients suffering from Alzheimer's often don't recognize that they are being abused. This is especially true in cases where Alzheimer's patients are being financially exploited.

If a parent or loved one has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's and currently resides in a nursing home, we encourage you to become acquainted with the types—and signs—of elderly abuse.

Elder abuse can come in many forms. Alzheimer's patients are often subjected to:

  • Emotional/Mental Abuse – This occurs when caregivers yell, threaten, isolate or belittle patients.
  • Financial Abuse – Because of the nature of Alzheimer's, patients are more vulnerable to scams, theft and other financial exploitation. Financial abuse can include the theft of cash or credit cards, or even the forging of a patient's name.
  • Physical Abuse – Bed sores and the use of restraints, as well as dehydration and malnutrition are all examples of physical abuse.
  • Neglect– Neglect occurs when caregivers fail to bathe patients, or they allow them to wander or eat unsupervised.

Signs of Elder Abuse

Knowing, they say, is half the battle. That's why the nursing home abuse attorneys at Edgar Snyder & Associates want you to be aware of the signs of elder abuse. Consider these red flags:

  • Bruises, bed sores, and other unexplained bumps
  • Unexplained withdrawal from everyday activities, or a sudden disinterest in hobbies
  • Sudden changes in finances
  • A tense relationship with caregivers—which can include frequent arguments or disagreements

Hiring a Nursing Home Abuse Attorney

If you or someone you love is the victim of nursing home abuse, don't delay—call Edgar Snyder & Associates today. It's important to remember there are strict deadlines to file a nursing home abuse claim. Call our attorneys today for a free case review. We're available 24/7—there's no obligation to use our services, and there's never a fee unless we get money for you.