No better example of nursing home abuse and negligence can be cited than the plight of residents with dementia. The most infamous example of nursing home dementia care negligence in Kentucky is that of Larry Lee. The death of the 32-year-old dementia patient in 2012 led to public outcry over care of such patients in assisted care centers and introduction of regulatory guidelines. The resident went missing from a Kentucky nursing home and was found dead four weeks later.
In 2011, nursing home negligence and lack of supervision caused a mentally ill patient to have 11 slip and fall accidents in 12 months. Her family received $225,000 in damages following a successful nursing home dementia care lawsuit. A few years earlier, a female dementia patient was raped by two male inmates “within sight of a nursing home supervisor.”
What is dementia?
Dementia denotes mental illness severe enough to interfere with daily functioning. It indicates an array of mental disorders leading to impaired thinking, memory loss, and deterioration of social abilities. The brain disease also affects judgment or language ability and motivation. Alzheimer’s is a common example of progressive dementia that results in greater decline of brain functioning than age can.
What are symptoms of dementia?
Brain disorder, including impaired ability to think, reason and memorize, psychological problems, and behavioral disorders are the most common signs of Dementia. A patient with the brain disease is likely to exhibit:
- cognitive disturbances
- loss of memory
- trouble in communicating, planning, organizing, and doing complex tasks
- difficulty with coordination
- disorientation, abnormal motor functions
- personality changes
- failure to reason
- abnormal behavior
- hallucinations and paranoia
- restlessness, irritation, and agitation
- balancing problems
- wandering, depression, and anxiety
What are risks of injury for dementia patients?
Impaired mental functions put dementia patients at the risk of abuse and negligence. Inability to think, reason and remember affects their wellbeing and social interactions. Many body systems are affected causing difficulty in daily activities.
Inadequate nutrition is the biggest threat to nursing home residents with dementia. They stop eating and drinking. Even slight changes in meal times impact their eating process. They also face the risk of pneumonia and breathing blockage due to food struck in the lungs. Caregivers are required to ensure special care and support in such situations.
Dementia residents lack the ability to complete their daily work. Unless supported by the staff at nursing homes, they face the risk of living in unhygienic conditions and even fail to take daily medication.
Special and direct care for dementia residents is essential as they suffer from deterioration of emotional health, behavioral problems, depression, confusion, frustration, delusions, and hallucinations. Sleep difficulties and disorientation also cause many to wander away from the nursing home premises and go missing. This together with motor dysfunction creates safety challenges.
Why challenge a nursing home for lack of dementia-specific care?
There are several instances when dementia patients went missing from Kentucky nursing homes and this is attributed to the sheer negligence of caregivers. Their disoriented behavior also makes them victims of abuse, beating, and excessive use of physical restraints. Studies indicate that such residents are victims of antipsychotic drug overuse in nursing homes. There is hardly any assisted care facility in the state that has special units or trained staff to provide care and support to dementia residents. Unfortunately rampant abuse, mistreatment, and negligence in KY nursing homes have caused serious safety and wellbeing issues for these patients.
To know more about your legal option to sue a nursing home for abuse, mistreatment, and negligence leading to injury or death of a resident with dementia, call at 1-800-632-1404 or contact us online to speak with our expert Kentucky nursing home attorney.