What types of abuse are dementia patients commonly subject to?
Senior citizens with dementia are more vulnerable to being abused than others. They're also more apt to make false abuse accusations than those who do not have the debilitating cognitive disease. Although this diagnosis may cause a patient to become more paranoid than they otherwise would have been, there are certain signs that you should look for if you're trying to verify whether their claims of abuse are accurate.
If your loved one has traditionally been able to cover their bills, yet suddenly their utilities are being cut off, then this should raise concern. If objects are missing from the home or you start seeing automatic teller machine (ATM) withdrawals although they're bedridden, then this should concern you too. If a new authorized user gets added to their account or their spending patterns have changed, then you should also investigate.
If your loved one used to participate in certain activities and suddenly stops doing so, then this may be a sign that they're being emotionally abused. If they become increasingly depressed, agitated, less alert or start mumbling to themselves, then this should also concern you. Abusers who harass, threaten, intimidate or humiliate someone in front of you would be considered emotionally abusive.
If you notice that your loved one has bruises, broken bones, a sprain or burn, then you'll want to ask their caregivers more about how the injury occurred. If they have welts or scarring around their wrists or ankles, then this may be a sign that they're been restrained. Any injuries are around their chest or near their genitals may be a sign that sexual abuse has occurred.
If you check your loved one's bedding or clothes, and they are always soiled, have bug bites or bedsores, appear malnourished, have lost weight or are dehydrated, then these may all send a message that they're not being properly cared for.
While no one should ever be subject to abuse at the hands of their caregiver, anyone who keeps their bills current and can afford to have around-the-clock care should definitely not receive inadequate care. Abuse and neglect can manifest themselves in different ways. You should consult with a Tucson nursing home abuse and neglect attorney the moment you suspect that your loved one is in danger.