Dementia and Nursing Home Abuse

The World Health Organization (WHO) stated that Dementia is one of the most common causes of disability and dependence for older individuals. Dementia is defined as a syndrome which results in memory, thinking and behavioral deterioration. It can result in an individual being unable to perform the activities of daily living such as bathing, teeth brushing, toileting, etc. Older people with diagnosed Dementia in the middle and late stages are usually treated in a nursing home environment where they can be closely supervised. Close monitoring is vital because those individuals with Dementia tend to wander by themselves and become lost.

The Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 included a law that required nursing homes to provide adequate supervision to prevent residents with Dementia from wandering. To make sure that this law is being followed, there must be sufficient staff on the floor during every shift, including the hours between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. If someone you love has been diagnosed with Dementia, there are specific questions to ask the administration or management before choosing the best nursing home for your family member. These are:

  • How many staff members are awake and working during night hours?
  • Are there any staff members who have special training in working with individuals with Dementia?
  • What is the ratio of staff members to residents?
  • How are the residents divided up between the staff? Are there certain staff members assigned to specific residents or does the entire staff work with all the residents?
  • Does the staff receive specific training in working with residents who have Dementia?
  • What happens when a resident with Dementia wanders off? Is there specific protocol or procedures that are followed?
  • Who supervises the staff that works with residents with Dementia and does the supervisor have any special training?

It is also important to visit the prospective nursing home facility to take a tour. Do research on the nursing home before you visit regarding complaints, violations and suspensions. The more information you have about the nursing home facility, the more specific your questions can be. Feel empowered to read up on the facility’s record and request a meeting with an administrator to make sure your loved one will be safe and that he or she will receive the best available treatment.

If you suspect that your loved one is being abused in any way in a nursing home, call the experienced and skilled attorneys at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP NY. Our decades of experience in handling nursing home abuse cases ensures the highest quality legal services and our professionalism and compassion is second to none. Call 877-565-2993 or email [email protected].