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Nursing Homes and Medical Malpractice: Long-term Care of Dementia-Affected Adults

Nursing Homes and Medical Malpractice: Long-term Care of Dementia-Affected Adults

dementia patient

Dementia is a cognitive functioning symptom that impacts millions of people, most of whom are already vulnerable aging adults. It’s estimated that the number of people with dementia will increase as the baby boomer generation continues to age. By 2030, more than 9 million people in America may have dementia.

Dementia and Long-term Care Facilities

In 2020, 1.3 million people in nursing homes and 818,000 in residential care communities experienced dementia. More than half of the residents living in nursing homes have dementia.

In addition to the challenges that are directly related to dementia, like difficulty performing daily tasks and struggling with communication and problem-solving, there are also other issues commonly seen in long-term care patients. Because so many of these patients have dementia, there is relevant overlap.

Bedsores in Nursing Homes

Bedsores, also known as pressure ulcers, are skin conditions caused by pressure or friction. They often occur in people with limited mobility and appear on the buttocks, coccyx, sacrum, and heels. Bedsores form when a patient has been lying or sitting in one position for a long time. The weight of their body presses against the bed or chair, causing the ulcers to form.

It’s important that nursing home staff do everything they can to prevent bedsores. Caregiver negligence may look like one of the following:

  • Not shifting or moving the patient frequently enough
  • Not monitoring sores or providing care for minor ulcers
  • Failing to provide devices or equipment for pressure relief
  • Not changing linens, clothes, or diapers to keep the patient dry and clean

Wandering from Long-term Care Facilities

Wandering is a dangerous behavior that many people with dementia and, specifically, Alzheimer’s disease are at risk for. In fact, 60% of people who have dementia wander at least once. Since it can be difficult for people with Alzheimer’s to recognize people and places, it is common for them to wander.

When long-term care facility and nursing home residents are not supervised properly, they can wander from the premises and endanger themselves. Whether due to understaffing, caregiver negligence, or poorly maintained facilities, nursing homes may be liable if a resident wanders and gets injured. People with dementia who wander can be hurt in a number of ways. Falls, dehydration, emotional distress, and broken bones are all potential outcomes of a wandering episode.

If your aging loved one has suffered an injury due to nursing home negligence, contact Josh or Janet at Gillette & Izzo Law Office. We want to work with you to protect and advocate for your vulnerable family members. Let us help you! Contact us to schedule a free consultation today.

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