Dementia patients face many difficulties outside of their immediate medical conditions. They can endanger themselves by wandering and causing accidents, but they are also particularly vulnerable to abuse and neglect. Late-stage dementia can include confrontational behavior that can provoke poorly trained caretakers.
Worse still, caretakers and their employers may take advantage of a dementia patient’s cognitive difficulties. They may assume that they can get away with nursing home abuse because their patients will fail to recall and report their abusive or neglectful acts.
If your loved one has suffered abuse or neglect in a nursing home in Lexington, KY, contact us at Minner Vines Moncus Injury Lawyers for a free case evaluation by calling at (859) 550-2900 to discuss your options.
Table of Contents
How Our Lexington Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers Can Help If Your Loved One Has Been Abused or Neglected
The lawyers at Minner Vines Moncus Injury Lawyers have over 100 years of combined experience in personal injury law. Our nursing home abuse lawyers have cultivated a reputation in Lexington, Kentucky, and across the U.S. as fierce and unrelenting advocates for accident victims.
We provide every client with the following:
- A free initial consultation to discuss the injuries suffered by your loved one so we can assess their legal options for pursuing compensation
- A legal team with a track record of successfully settling or winning cases totaling over $1 billion
- Thorough legal representation from start to finish
- Award-winning attorneys who prepare every case as if it will go to trial
Nursing home abuse causes physical and mental trauma that a patient may never truly recover from. To discuss the compensation you can seek for the abuse your loved one has suffered, contact Minner Vines Moncus Injury Lawyers for a free consultation with a Lexington nursing home abuse attorney.
How Often Do Nursing Home Patients Face Abuse?
No one knows exactly how often nursing home abuse occurs, though one study asked nursing assistants about their observations of abuse in nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and other residential centers. The results showed that the frequency of abuse tended to vary based on the type of abuse.
Verbal abuse was the most common form of abuse observed. As many as 70% of nursing assistants observed someone yelling at residents, while another 50% heard someone insulting or swearing at residents.
Physical abuse was not as prevalent, though it still occurred at alarmingly high rates. In the same survey of nursing assistants, up to 17% saw someone push or grab residents, and 13% saw someone hit or slap a resident. The most common form of physical abuse came from the 21% who reported the unnecessary use of physical restraints.
Sexual abuse also happens in nursing homes and other residential facilities. One study by the World Health Organization (WHO) identified roughly 1.9% of elderly patients who reported sexual abuse directly or through a proxy.
An underreported form of abuse involves the theft or overcharging of nursing home residents. As many as 13.8% of nursing home residents risk facing financial abuse, according to the WHO study.
Identifying Dementia Patient Abuse
Occasionally, you will hear about abuse from whistleblowing residents or staff members. But in many cases, you will need to identify the signs of abuse from interactions with your loved one themself.
Signs of abuse in dementia patients can manifest in many different ways, including:
As you might expect, physical abuse will often leave visible wounds, such as:
- Scrapes and scratches
- Broken bones
However, you may need to look for less obvious signs of abuse, such as soreness, weakness, or stiffness, which might indicate soft tissue injuries. Residents who suffer sexual abuse might contract sexually transmitted infections and suffer genital injuries.
Mental or Emotional Signs
Abuse and mistreatment of dementia patients can be difficult to identify because they might not have the ability to recall and report their abuse.
With that in mind, some possible mental and emotional signs to look for are as follows:
- Stories of mistreatment
- Overreaction to emotional triggers
- Emotional outbursts
Unfortunately, many of these mental or emotional signs overlap with the symptoms of dementia, so you need to exercise discretion wherever possible.
If a nursing home is financially abusing its dementia patients, some possible signs may include things like:
- Unauthorized accessing of financial accounts
- Missing items
- Unexplained expenses or charges
If your loved one has granted you financial power of attorney, you may need to have your loved one’s finances audited to identify theft.
Signs of Neglect
You may have difficulty identifying the neglect of a dementia patient. You might not be able to distinguish between your loved one forgetting or refusing to eat and a nursing home failing to feed them altogether, for example.
Some signs that might indicate neglect include the following:
- Weight loss
- Bed sores
- Infections, particularly urinary tract infections
- Unadministered medications
- Dirty bedding or soiled clothing
You might also be able to identify neglect from a pattern of concerning indications, such as a series of unexplained illnesses and ailments over several weeks or months.
Schedule a Free Initial Consultation With Our Lexington Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers
Nursing home abuse represents a betrayal of trust by the people tasked with caring for elderly patients. To discuss the compensation you can seek for the injuries of your loved one, contact Minner Vines Moncus Injury Lawyers for a free consultation.