Abuse of Nursing Home Residents with Dementia

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Abuse of Tennessee Nursing Home Residents with Dementia

Protecting the rights of our elders in Nashville, Hendersonville and Knoxville, and throughout the state

Many people have a fear of dying, but it might really be more of a fear of growing old and feeling helpless and forgotten and drugged into oblivion. As people grow into their advanced years, some will develop dementia, a brain disorder that affects communication and the person’s ability to perform daily activities according to the National Institute on Aging (NIA). It presents as a cluster of symptoms, the best known of which is Alzheimer’s disease (a specific form of dementia). Other causes of dementia include diseases such as Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, according to Alzheimers.net.

At the Rocky McElhaney Law Firm we abhor the practice of nursing home abuse. We are on a mission to make sure that our elderly citizens in Nashville, Hendersonville, Knoxville and throughout Tennessee are afforded the respect and proper treatment that they deserve. If you have a loved one who has been abused by the nursing home staff that are supposed to be protecting and caring for them, we want to hear from you.

Early signs and symptoms of dementia

Symptoms of dementia vary, and some forms of dementia start out with mild symptoms that occur occasionally and grow worse gradually. Some of the symptoms of dementia include:

  • Memory loss
  • Problems with language and communication
  • Diminishing ability to focus and pay attention
  • Lapses in judgement and reasoning
  • Distorted visual perception

Sometimes older people can have occasional bouts of memory loss, but those symptoms alone do not necessarily mean that they have dementia. Some things that cause dementia-like symptoms can be addressed and the symptoms will go away. Talk to a doctor with your concerns and they can determine what might be causing the symptoms.

Abuse of nursing home residents with dementia

Elders who have moderate or advanced dementia symptoms can present behavior that can seem troublesome to nursing home staff and other residents. They can become aggressive and belligerent; they may become anxious or agitated. Some dementia patients will begin to wander around aimlessly and they can become a danger to themselves as they could fall and hurt themselves or wander away from the premises.

Because of their inability to communicate or even to fight back, nursing home residents with dementia become easy targets for abuse from nursing home staff and their fellow residents. Dementia patients are often physically, verbally and sexually abused, but they often become withdrawn and hesitate to tell staff or their family members for fear of more abuse.

Chemical restraint use with dementia patients

Some nursing homes have adopted the practice of using anti-psychotic medications to help manage the challenging behavior of residents with dementia. Anti-psychotic medications have a “black box” warning from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) against using them as a form of chemical restraint on elderly patients with dementia due to a significant risk of causing heart failure, infections, drug dependency and death. It is also against federal law to use drugs as chemical restraints on the elderly. Nursing home residents are guaranteed certain rights in the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act such as the right, “To be treated with consideration, respect, and dignity, and to be free from mental and physical abuse, corporal punishment, involuntary seclusion, and physical and chemical restraints.”

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid estimate that about 300,000 nursing home residents who suffer from dementia are being given antipsychotic drugs that dull the symptoms of aggression and anxiety that can occur in patients who suffer from various forms of dementia.

Protecting elderly nursing home residents from abuse

If your loved one who suffers from dementia has been abused in a nursing home, the diligent Nashville, Hendersonville and Knoxville injury attorneys from the Rocky McElhaney Law Firm are eager to help you obtain justice on their behalf. We will investigate their complaint and report any instance of abuse to the authorities. Your loved one may also be in a position to take legal action against the responsible party and receive compensation for the pain and suffering they have endured, medical expenses and in some cases the cost of moving them to another facility where they will feel safe.

Put an end to the abuse today. Call Rocky and he will fight for you.

Call Rocky at 615-246-5549 or fill out our contact form to schedule a free initial consultation to discuss your case. With offices on world famous Music Row in Nashville, Hendersonville and Knoxville, we are always nearby to fight on your behalf. Our compassionate Nashville nursing home abuse attorneys have the experience and skill to protect your loved one’s rights and get you and your family the results you deserve.

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"5 stars! If you’re looking for a team of great attorney’s, then you’ve reached the ones and no longer need to search. Rocky McElhaney Law firm is filled with great people that are empathetic, and will fight for you like they are fighting for themselves! Call them up and see for yourselves!"

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Rocky McElhaney Law Firm
2015-02-06T16:37:49+00:00

Phillip H.

"5 stars! If you’re looking for a team of great attorney’s, then you’ve reached the ones and no longer need to search. Rocky McElhaney Law firm is filled with great people that are empathetic, and will fight for you like they are fighting for themselves! Call them up and see for yourselves!"

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2015-02-06T15:33:42+00:00

Bobby and Beck P.

"We could never begin to thank you for all of your help. We always refer folks to you and will continue as you are, “The Man!” We treasure your friendship and are so proud to say that Rocky McElhaney is our lawyer!"

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Rocky McElhaney Law Firm
2015-02-06T15:34:24+00:00

Linda S.

"5 stars! To whom it may concern: Rocky McElhaney Law Firm went above and beyond the call of duty when it came to handling my case. Rocky McElhaney and Russell Belk were there for me 100% of the way."

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"As much as I love all the "thank you's" my friend is giving me for recommending you, I of course cannot take all the credit. You and your staff again are amazing and when I can, I wil refer you always. My friend is overwhelmed (her exact words) for how well you took care of her and her daughter."

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Kerry W.

"As much as I love all the "thank you's" my friend is giving me for recommending you, I of course cannot take all the credit. You and your staff again are amazing and when I can, I wil refer you always. My friend is overwhelmed (her exact words) for how well you took care of her and her daughter."

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"5 stars! This is the greatest Law firm I have ever seen. They make you feel like you are being taken care of and you are not just a number, but a name. They are very concerned with your every need. Rocky we love your LAW FIRM!!"

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2015-02-06T16:39:44+00:00

Mary T.

"5 stars! This is the greatest Law firm I have ever seen. They make you feel like you are being taken care of and you are not just a number, but a name. They are very concerned with your every need. Rocky we love your LAW FIRM!!"

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Eddie H.

Rocky McElhaney Law Firm
2015-02-06T16:39:03+00:00

Eddie H.

"5 stars! I would like to express my sincere gratitude to you and all the attorneys who handled my case from The Rocky McElhaney Law Firm for your excellent representation in my case. Words cannot express my heartfelt thanks for your outstanding professionalism, expertise, and legal consultation."
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