How Prevalent is the Abuse of Adults with Dementia?

As generations of Americans age and increasingly live longer, fuller lives, we have a population of adults who may be in relatively good health, but who suffer from dementia, which can range from relatively mild to severe and constant in nature. When this situation occurs, families often have to relegate some caregiving duties to nursing homes or other outside healthcare agencies. Difficulties can arise, however, when a caregiver abuses a patient, and he or she is unable to get help or report the abuse due to struggles with dementia.

According to the National Center on Elder Abuse, Administration on Aging, elderly individuals who suffer from dementia are more likely to experience abuse than those individuals who do not have dementia. This is no small problem. Statistics show that about 5.1 million Americans suffer from dementia, and up to 65% of all individuals ages 85 and older suffer from some sort of dementia, keeping in mind that this age group is the fastest growing group in our population. Furthermore, given the inability in many cases of these individuals to report abuse, it is likely that researchers have vastly underestimated the numbers of dementia patients who have sustained abuse. The different studies on this issue show an abuse and neglect rate for patients with dementia ranging anywhere from 27.5% to 55% of this population.

Almost half of dementia patients who experienced abuse or neglect did so at the hands of their own caregivers. Over 88.5% of these individuals suffered psychological abuse, almost 20% experienced physical abuse, and almost 30% experienced neglect. Additionally, about half of caregivers surveyed admitted to being abusive to a dementia patient at some point during their caregiving duties.

The Wisconsin nursing home abuse lawyers of Boller & Vaughan know how devastating it can be when you entrust your loved one to the care of others, only to have that trust completely betrayed. Our attorneys are dedicated to protecting your rights and those of your loved ones in all types of circumstances. We handle nursing home abuse and neglect cases on a daily basis, and we know how to get the relief to which you may be entitled. Don’t hesitate to fight back against a neglectful or abusive nursing care and assistance living facility that has caused harm to your loved one. Call us today and see how we can help.