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How to Care for a Dementia Patient in Nursing Homes

More than 50% of nursing home patients have some form of dementia. The most common type is Alzheimer's disease.

Alzheimer's disease causes a specific kind of memory loss, where irregular proteins damage a person's brain cells/ Over time, damaged brain cells die off, making it harder for a person to find the right words to say something, solve problems, and make decisions. 

Many families entrust their loved one's care to a nursing home once the emotional, medical, or financial stress of caring for them gets to be too much. A shocking 75% of people suffering from Alzheimer's disease will be put into a nursing home by age 80. 

Sadly, a large number of these nursing home patients are taken advantage of by the staff. Some staff members find dementia patients hard to cope with and may react poorly when patients lose their train of thought, become agitated, or forget who or where they are. Frustrated, overworked, and under-trained, staff members often neglect or abuse these patients even though they can’t control their disease.

Related: Recognizing Alzheimer's Awareness Month 

What to Look for in a Nursing Home

When admitting your loved one to a nursing home, ensure they’re placed in a memory care unit (also called Alzheimer’s special care units, or SCUs). These units are designed to meet the specific needs of dementia patients and have specially-trained staff. Laws for SCUs vary from state to state, so be sure to ask what type of care is provided.

If your loved one is already in a nursing home, ask the staff if they’re trained in dementia care. Also ask if residents with dementia are in the same unit as residents with other psychiatric illnesses as their main diagnosis.
Nursing home patient with Alzheimer's disease

Healthier Lifestyle Could Decrease Dementia Risk, Study Shows

A new report reminds us that choices we make when we’re younger could help keep our memories intact well into old age. While these healthy habits aren’t proven to prevent Alzheimer’s disease, they may play a role in slowing its progression.

Lifestyle changes include:

  • Eating a balanced diet that includes more vegetables, whole grains, and fish
  • Stimulating the brain by learning something new, like a language or hobby
  • Being socially active
  • Not taking up smoking or quitting smoking
  • Managing blood pressure
  • Maintaining a healthy weight, staving off obesity and diabetes

Nursing Home Neglect, Abuse, and Injuries

Our nursing home abuse attorneys know how difficult it can be to witness a loved one in decline. Families expect that nursing home staff will respect and care for their loved one as if he or she was their own family member, but, sadly, that is not always the case.

Many nursing home residents are taken advantage of because of their memory loss, and they may not be able to alert family members of it.

Friends and family should know to look out for red flags of abuse and neglect, such as:

  • Unexplained or frequent broken bones
  • Malnutrition and dehydration
  • Bedsores
  • Falls
  • Overmedication
  • Wandering away from the nursing home

If your loved one was seriously injured while in the care of a nursing home, call us for a free case consultation today. No one should have to suffer from abuse or negligence - get the justice your loved one deserves today.