Alzheimer’s disease is a very common form of dementia that affects elderly patients, and it can be debilitating. It impairs a person’s cognitive abilities, which can make communication, daily activities and relationships very difficult.
Unfortunately, though, Alzheimer’s disease can be a precursor to nursing home abuse. Because some caregivers are unscrupulous, neglectful or downright mean, people with Alzheimer’s disease are more vulnerable to abuse than elderly people who don’t have communication problems.
Signs of Alzheimer’s Abuse in Nursing Homes
If your loved one is suffering from this disease, it’s important that you look out for signs and symptoms of abuse, including:
- Bruises, cuts, scrapes or burns
- Broken bones or other physical injuries
- Malnutrition or dehydration
- New health problems that develop rapidly
- Mood swings
- A further reduced ability to communicate
- Aggression or easy agitation
- Antisocial behavior
Abuse of an Alzheimer’s patient isn’t always physical or mental. Financial abuse has become more prevalent in the last several years, and that involves a caregiver bilking funds from a patient who isn’t able to stop them or who doesn’t know it’s happening.
Signs of elder financial abuse include:
- Forcing an elderly patient to give up their money to someone else
- Withholding the elderly patient’s own money or assets
- Strange charges on a credit card, debit card or other account
- Over-charging for services that an Alzheimer’s patient needs within the nursing home or assisted care facility
- Abusing powers of attorney
While financial abuse is difficult to detect, particularly if you don’t ordinarily have access to your loved one’s finances, it’s important that you ask questions and keep your eye out for any of these signs.
If you suspect that your loved one is being abused physically, mentally or financially, it might be a good idea to talk to a New York nursing home abuse lawyer.
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