Increased Risks of Abuse for Dementia Patients

The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) has compiled statistics showing that between two and five million elderly individuals nationwide suffer some sort of abuse each year. Abuse can include not only physical abuse, but also sexual abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, and financial abuse. Those individuals who suffer from dementia, however, are at an even higher risk for abuse, simply due to difficulties with memory and other cognitive losses.

Today, about 5.3 million individuals suffer from Alzheimer’s disease in the United States. That number, however, is expected to grow exponentially in the future. By 2030, that number is projected to rise to 7.7 million people, and in 2050, 16 million people. As a result, the risks of abuse must be addressed in order to prevent the steadily growing population of Alzheimer’s patients from suffering the same abuse.

Caregiver burn-out may be a significant factor that results in abuse of dementia patients. Up to 20% of caregivers fear that they will become violent with the patients for whom they care. More importantly, international studies reveal that 34% to 62% of these caregivers abuse their dementia patients. A similar American study produced the same results; 47.3% of the caregivers surveyed abused or neglected their dementia patients in some ways.

About 60% of abuse is verbal in nature, whereas five to ten percent of abuse becomes physical. Another 14% of the abuse that occurs to dementia patients takes the form of neglect.

While some abuse and neglect cases may seem relatively straightforward to you, it can be difficult to get a long-term care facility or nursing home to take responsibility for the injuries that your loved one has sustained. The Madison abuse and neglect attorneys of Boller & Vaughan will meet with you at no cost in order to evaluate the facts relevant to your situation. Once we have heard all of these facts, we can assess your case and determine the best strategy for handling your case. Take the first step and call our office today to set up your free consultation with one of our Wisconsin abuse and neglect lawyers.