Nursing home residents in Riverside County who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia often become victims of nursing home abuse and neglect. Not only can Alzheimer’s patients be overmedicated with drugs that are inappropriate and that can have dangerous side effects, but they can be targets of abuse for a variety of reasons. The following are five things to know about Alzheimer’s disease and nursing home abuse in Southern California.
- Nursing Home Abuse Against Alzheimer’s Patients Can Take Many Forms
Nursing home abuse and neglect involving Alzheimer’s patients can take many different forms, including physical abuse, emotional or psychological abuse, sexual abuse, willful deprivation, and passive neglect. Each of these forms of abuse has distinctive signs and symptoms, and sometimes those symptoms can be difficult to identify.
- Family Members Should Make Themselves Aware of Warning Signs
Given the cognitive impairment associated with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia, it is critical for family members and friends to be able to recognize signs and symptoms of abuse, and to report it promptly.
- Abuse Can Involve Off-Label Use of Psychotropic Medications
Overmedication is a serious problem in nursing homes across California, especially when it comes to dementia patients. Since nursing home residents with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia can become easily agitated and more difficult to calm down, many of those patients have received psychotropic drugs and other medications that can be harmful. It is important to know that off-label use of drugs, and overmedication because a patient has dementia, may be a reason to move forward with a nursing home negligence claim.
- Dementia Patients are Especially Vulnerable to Abuse
According to the Alzheimer’s Association, “people with dementia are especially vulnerable” to nursing home abuse and neglect “because the disease may prevent them from reporting the abuse or recognizing it,” and “they also may fall prey to strangers who take advantage of their cognitive impairment.
- Nursing Home Abuse Claims Involving Abuse of an Alzheimer’s Patient Must be Filed Within Two Years
Most nursing home negligence lawsuits in California, including claims against nursing facilities for abuse or neglect involving an Alzheimer’s patient who resides at the facility, must be filed within two years from the date of the incident that caused the patient’s harm. Under California law, the clock begins to tick on the date of the abusive or neglectful act, and from that point a claim must be filed within two years. A nursing home negligence attorney in Riverside County can evaluate your case to determine the best course of action for holding the facility accountable and seeking compensation.
Seek Advice From an Experienced Riverside County Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
If you have an elderly loved one who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia and you have concerns about nursing home abuse or neglect, an experienced Riverside County nursing home abuse attorney can speak with you today about holding the facility accountable. Contact the Walton Law Firm today to learn more about how we can assist you.
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