Have You Been Injured? We're Ready to Fight for You.

What Does Negligence Look Like for Dementia Patients?

Published on Nov 5, 2019 at 9:56 am in Nursing Home Abuse.

Back of woman in wheelchair

If you don’t have experience with dementia patients, you are not fully equipped to handle their outbursts or might not have the patience to repeatedly remind them of something. It takes an empathetic person to properly care for older people with dementia. So how can you tell when the caretaker is neglecting a nursing home patient?

Signs of Neglect in Dementia Patients

When you put your loved one’s care into the hands of another person, you’re trusting them to provide the best treatment possible. In nursing homes and other places where dementia patients are cared for, medical staff does not always live up to the standard you expect. To your dismay, they could neglect your loved one who has dementia, which is nursing home abuse.

As outlined by the Alzheimer’s Association, some of the signs of abuse by means of neglect are:

  • Injuries. If your loved one with dementia develops bruises, broken bones, cuts, or burns, they could be experiencing neglect. These injuries could come from lack of movement or falls.
  • Poor hygiene. Some signs of poor hygiene are a foul smell, matted hair, unchanged clothes, and old bedding.
  • Decline in health. Health problems like weight loss, bedsores, muscle weakness, and untreated illness are signs that a patient is being neglected.
  • Emotional trauma. Without proper social interaction, a dementia patient can become withdrawn, develop mood swings, and even experience depression.

The most common people to abuse older people are caregivers, both family and professionals alike, according to the Alzheimer’s Association. When your loved one is in a nursing home, neglect could be intentional or unintentional. Nursing homes are sometimes understaffed, which leads to unintentional neglect. Staff can also experience compassion fatigue caused from stress and exhaustion which can also lead to neglect.

If you suspect a patient is being neglected, it is best to report it to the nursing home first. Be sure to express your concerns as objectively as possible. If the facility does nothing about the suspected neglect, then you should turn to a nursing home abuse lawyer in Chicago to support you and your claim.

How to Care for Dementia Patients

Dementia is not one specific disease. According to the Alzheimer’s Association, it is a general term that describes the decline in brain activity that limits memory, motor functions, and everyday tasks. For example, Alzheimer’s is a form of dementia, but not all dementia patients have Alzheimer’s. Here are some symptoms to look for when you suspect someone has dementia:

  • Memory loss
  • Difficulty with language and communication
  • Limited ability to focus
  • Impaired reasoning and judgement
  • Trouble with visual perception

When caring for a person with dementia, you must be patient and empathetic. It can be frustrating and scary for dementia patients when they can’t get around, communicate, or remember things like they used to. If you are overly critical or try to rush them, it can make them feel even worse. Allow them to take their time and reassure them that you care and are there to help them.

If you suspect that your loved one with dementia is experiencing nursing home abuse, you should reach out for legal help. Our nursing home abuse lawyer can support you through this difficult time and help get justice for you and your family. Nobody should experience neglect or abuse, but especially not your family member whose care you’ve placed into someone else’s hands. Contact us today so we can start fighting for you.

Meet Your Team

Tad Thomas - Trial Lawyer

Tad Thomas

Managing Partner

Tad Thomas has dedicated his practice to representing plaintiffs in various types of civil litigation, including personal injury, business litigation, class actions, and multi-district litigation.

After graduating with his law degree in 2000 from Salmon P. Chase College of Law at Northern Kentucky University, Mr. Thomas immediately opened his own private practice and began representing injury victims.

In 2011, Thomas Law Offices was established in Louisville, Kentucky. Over the past decade, Mr. Thomas has expanded his firm and now has offices in three additional locations: Cincinnati, Ohio, Columbia, Missouri, and Chicago, Illinois. He is also a frequent lecturer on topics like trial skills and ethics and technology.

Free Case Evaluation

At Thomas Law Offices, our personal injury attorneys recognize that our potential clients are likely going through some of the most difficult times of their lives. We don't want you to have to worry about paying out-of-pocket for legal advice when you're just starting to learn your legal rights and options. That's why we provide free case evaluations. We'll offer our expert advice about your potential case and walk you through how we can help you.

Call us or fill out the form below to tell us about your potential case and a personal injury lawyer will get back to you as quickly as possible.

Legal & Firm News

What You Need to Know About Business Litigation and Contingency Fees

If your business has ever been involved in a legal matter, you may be surprised to hear the two phrases together: business litigation and contingency fees. Traditionally, it has been more common to associate a contingency fee model with personal injury law involving individual parties rather than businesses. But this is no longer always the […]

Read More

Signs of PTSD in Military Service Members

It’s estimated that up to one-third of military service members suffer from PTSD. PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder, is a mental health condition that can develop following a traumatic event. This usually means an event involving actual or threatened death, serious injury, or abuse. People who have seen combat, witnessed death, or experienced a life-threatening situation […]

Read More

AAA Conducts Study Examining Travel Before and During COVID-19

In 2021, new research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s New American Driving Survey revealed shifts in driving, traveling, and commuting patterns in the United States. The statistics gathered between July 2019 and December 2020 cannot be analyzed without consideration of COVID-19’s unignorable impact on the numbers—numbers showing marked differences from previous years’ findings.

Read More