Signs of Elder Abuse in Dementia and Alzheimer’s Patients
Recognize the signs and help prevent elder abuse
Dementia is a devastating condition for those who have it and their families. Sadly, things can get even worse as memory care residents with dementia are more vulnerable to elder abuse. Due to their memory problems, dementia residents might not remember or even know when abuse happens. That’s why learning and recognizing the warning signs of elder abuse is so important. Your loved one depends on it.
With decades of experience, our team at Hal Waldman & Associates in Pittsburgh is dedicated to advocating for individuals impacted by memory care abuse and neglect in dementia cases. We possess a deep understanding of cases involving assisted living abuse. We build strong cases for families in Western Pennsylvania.
Signs of physical abuse
When caring for loved ones with dementia, it's essential to be aware of potential signs of physical abuse. This type of mistreatment can have serious consequences and lead to severe injuries, so recognizing warning signs is crucial to ensuring their safety and well-being.
- Unexplained injuries like bruises, cuts, burns, or fractures
- Frequent accidents resulting in injuries
- Sudden changes in behavior
- Frequent changes in medications or unusual reactions to medication
- Torn or soiled clothing that could indicate rough handling
- Signs of being restrained (such as marks on wrists)
Signs of emotional abuse
For dementia patients, emotional abuse can be profoundly distressing and harmful. Emotional abuse is often more difficult to spot than physical abuse, but not impossible.
- Threats of physical abuse
- Withdrawal from once-enjoyed activities
Signs of financial abuse
Memory care residents are vulnerable to financial exploitation, making awareness of signs of financial abuse crucial.
- Unexplained or sudden changes in financial situation
- Missing personal belongings, valuables, or cash
- Unpaid bills despite having sufficient funds
- Unexplained changes in wills, trusts, or power of attorney
- Unexplained withdrawals or transfers from bank accounts
- Forged signatures on documents or checks
Signs of sexual abuse
Maintaining a safe environment for dementia residents in assisted living requires understanding the signs of sexual abuse. Sexual abuse is a horrifying crime that can have long-lasting effects on residents.
- Unexplained pain or discomfort in genital or anal areas
- Bruising, bleeding, or injuries to genital or anal areas
- Bloody or stained underwear
- Sudden changes in behavior or emotional state
- Signs of distress during bathing or changing clothes
- Reports of inappropriate comments or advances from caregivers or staff
Signs of neglect
People with Alzheimer’s or dementia require a high degree of assistance with activities of daily living. Neglect can lead to serious health problems, such as fall injuries, infections, dehydration, and malnutrition.
- Poor personal hygiene, such as unwashed hair or dirty clothing.
- Untreated medical conditions.
- Weight loss, malnutrition, or dehydration.
- Unsuitable living conditions.
- Missed medication administration.
- Untreated wounds, cuts, or infections.
- Overgrown nails or untreated dental issues.
- Ignored or unmet basic needs, such as food, water, or personal care.
- Resident isolation or lack of social interaction.
How a memory care attorney can help
At Hal Waldman & Associates, we understand how devastating it can be to find out your loved one has been mistreated. Memory care residents need extra care, but instead, they are sometimes taken advantage of. That’s why we work hard to hold memory care workers accountable for their actions.