Featured News 2016 How is Alzheimer’s Connected to Abuse?

How is Alzheimer’s Connected to Abuse?

When an elderly person suffers from Alzheimer's disease, as time passes, their brain cells sustain irreversible damage. This causes the senior to experience memory loss and confusion. Sometimes, certain situations, such as an infection, or a change in living environment (e.g. moving an elderly person from their home to a nursing home) can cause their symptoms to worsen.

In the early stages of Alzheimer's, the memory loss may be mild and almost unnoticeable, but as it progresses, it becomes severe. The elderly person may not recognize their close family members, or they may be confused about where they are, or how much time has passed.

Unfortunately, these marked memory lapses make the senior vulnerable to unscrupulous persons, especially caregivers. When a nursing home resident is in the later stages of Alzheimer's, they are vulnerable to physical, sexual, emotional, and financial abuse, as well as neglect.

What often happens is the elderly resident will claim they've been abused, but others will quickly excuse the resident's claims as "figments of their imagination." It's highly likely that abusive caregivers will take comfort in the fact that people will easily accept these excuses as truth, meanwhile the elderly resident suffers in vain.

Alzheimer's Requires a Lot of Patience from Caregivers

Alzheimer's is a difficult disease for caregivers to deal with as it requires a lot of patience and understanding. Caregivers must know how to respond without anger or aggression and without harming the resident.

Unfortunately, it's not uncommon for people with Alzheimer's to become victims of abuse, especially when their caregivers are immoral characters who are impatient and uncaring. People with dementia are especially vulnerable because:

  • They may forget the abuse happened
  • They may forget who abused them
  • Their condition prevents them from reporting abuse
  • Nobody listens to them when they claim abuse
  • People dismiss their claims of abuse as figments of their imagination
  • They don't have family to report the abuse to, so they remain victims

If you suspect that your loved one is a victim of elder abuse or neglect and they have Alzheimer's disease, you are urged to contact a nursing home abuse attorney for legal advice.

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