According to the Alzheimer’s Association, there are approximately 220,000 people with Alzheimer’s disease living in Illinois in 2018. That number is projected to increase by about 18 percent to 260,000 in 2025. Alzheimer’s disease is a type of progressive and incurable brain disease that affects a person’s memory and cognitive function. In order to keep their loved ones with Alzheimer’s safe, many families need the full-time care and skill of nursing homes.
Nursing homes can provide 24/7 supervision and care. This includes providing medical care, help with daily living activities such as hygiene, and providing adequate nutrition. Unfortunately, not all nursing homes provide the same level of care and some residents may be at risk of injury while living in nursing homes.
Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect of Residents With Alzheimer’s Disease
Any nursing home resident is at risk of suffering a serious injury due to the abuse or neglect of nursing home staff. However, there are special risks that people with Alzheimer’s disease face because their disease impacts their memory and cognitive functioning. Specifically, nursing home residents with Alzheimer’s may have an increased risk of:
- Suffering from physical abuse. People suffering from Alzheimer’s can become frustrated or aggressive. Some nursing home staff members may lack the training or skills to deal with these behaviors and may use physical abuse as a way to control behavior.
- Suffering from sexual abuse. Since many people with Alzheimer’s are not reliable reporters due to their medical condition, they may be victims of sexual abuse.
- Wandering. Without proper supervision, a person with Alzheimer’s may wander from her room, floor, or nursing home. She may get lost and suffer significant injuries.
- Causing self-injury. A person with Alzheimer’s may unintentionally hurt herself with hot things or cut herself with sharp things, for example.
It can be devastating to learn that your loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect in the very place that you choose to keep your loved one safe. However, it may be up to you to take action to protect your loved one’s rights.
During National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month this November, please learn about the risks your loved one faces in a nursing home and know that our experienced lawyers are here to help you if your loved one is hurt by nursing home abuse or neglect in Illinois.