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What You Should Know About Nursing Home Abuse and Dementia Patients


Nursing homes in New York have a duty to provide sufficient care to residents based on each resident’s needs. Accordingly, when a nursing home resident suffers from Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia, the nursing home must provide a level of care that corresponds with the needs of the dementia patient. It is also essential to know that dementia patients in nursing homes have the same rights as other residents who do not have any type of cognitive impairment. As such, when a nursing home resident with dementia has their rights violated, or when a dementia patient in a nursing home suffers injuries as a result of passive neglect or intentional abuse, it may be possible to file a nursing home negligence claim against the facility or one of the employees. The following are some key things to know.


Dementia Patients are Often More Vulnerable to Abuse and Neglect


While any nursing home resident can be the target of intentional abuse or can suffer injuries from passive neglect, it is important to know that residents with Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia may be at greater risk of injuries caused by nursing home abuse. Indeed, according to the Alzheimer’s Association, “people with dementia are especially vulnerable because the disease may prevent them from reporting the abuse or recognizing it,” and they “may fall prey to strangers who take advantage of their cognitive impairment.”


Alzheimer’s and Other Dementia Patients Have Resident Rights in Nursing Homes


Just because a nursing home resident has Alzheimer’s or another form of dementia, or suffers from a form of cognitive impairment, does not mean that they give up their rights. Under New York law, nursing home residents have a wide range of rights that include but are not limited to the following cited by the New York State Department of Health:


● Dignity, respect and a comfortable living environment;

● Quality of care and treatment without discrimination;

● Be free from abuse including verbal, sexual, mental and physical abuse; and

● Be free from restraints.


When these rights, or any others, are violated, it is important to seek advice from a nursing home negligence lawyer. Even though a dementia patient may not be able to articulate the ways in which their rights were violated, family members and other loved ones can work with an attorney to identify evidence of negligence.


Off-Label Uses of Antipsychotic Drugs May be Negligent


Many nursing homes give dementia patients antipsychotic drugs in off-label use in order to make them easier to handle. It is critical to know that this kind of medication use can constitute abuse or negligence, and the facility could be liable for resulting harm.


Contact a New York Nursing Home Negligence Lawyer Today


If you have any concerns about an elderly loved one’s safety or care in a New York nursing home, especially if your loved one has dementia, you should seek advice from one of the experienced New York nursing home negligence lawyers at our firm. We can evaluate your case for you today and discuss your options for filing a nursing home abuse or neglect claim. Contact Leitner Varughese Warywoda PLLC for more information about the services we provide to older adults and their families.


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