Dementia

Maryland Dementia Abuse Lawyers

Dementia is a general term for a decline in mental ability severe enough to interfere with daily life. Memory loss is an example. Alzheimer’s is the most common type of dementia. Dementia is not a specific disease. It’s an overall term that describes a group of symptoms associated with a decline in memory or other thinking skills severe enough to reduce a person’s ability to perform everyday activities. Alzheimer’s disease accounts for 60 to 80 percent of cases. Vascular dementia, which occurs after a stroke, is the second most common dementia type. But there are many other conditions that can cause symptoms of dementia, including some that are reversible, such as thyroid problems and vitamin deficiencies. Dementia is often incorrectly referred to as “senility” or “senile dementia,” which reflects the formerly widespread but incorrect belief that serious mental decline is a normal part of aging. It is a fact that elderly nursing home residents with dementia, Alzheimer’s or any type of cognitive impairment are often the victims of nursing home abuse, neglect or malpractice. If your loved is showing signs of being abused or neglect in a Maryland nursing home please contact our Maryland dementia abuse lawyers.

Our team of Baltimore, Maryland dementia abuse attorneys are standing by ready to put their nursing home litigation experience to work for you. We charge no legal fees if we do not recover for you and your family. Serving all of Maryland including Annapolis, Baltimore, Salisbury, Towson, Rockville, Bel Air, Aberdeen, Glen Burnie, Upper Marlboro, College Park, Columbia, Ellicott City, Suitland, Clinton, Crofton, Frederick & Leonardtown.

Signs & Symptoms Of Dementia

Dementia signs and symptoms can vary from patient to patient. In terms of diagnosing dementia at least two of the following core mental functions must be present:

  • Memory
  • Communication & language
  • Ability to focus and pay attention
  • Reasoning and judgment
  • Visual perception

People with dementia may have problems with short-term memory, keeping track of a purse or wallet, paying bills, planning and preparing meals, remembering appointments or traveling out of the neighborhood.

Many dementias are progressive, meaning symptoms start out slowly and gradually get worse. If you or someone you know is experiencing memory difficulties or other changes in thinking skills, don’t ignore them. See a doctor soon to determine the cause. Professional evaluation may detect a treatable condition. And even if symptoms suggest dementia, early diagnosis allows a person to get the maximum benefit from available treatments and provides an opportunity to volunteer for clinical trials or studies. It also provides time to plan for the future.

Causes Of Dementia Abuse In Nursing Homes

Abuse, neglect, accidents, malpractice and injuries suffered in most nursing home cases stem from the staff, healthcare providers and caretakers. Physical abuse of dementia patients in Maryland nursing homes can be a result of nursing home employees not being properly trained, screened and being paid low wages. Dementia patients and those with cognitive impairments of any kind require more maintenance, patients and care than other patients or residents. This can be very frustrating for the staff and it is not uncommon for that frustration to be taken out on the elderly, vulnerable nursing home residents.

Many people who work in nursing homes are criminals and are involved with alcohol and drugs. They may also have personality disorders that cause them to be abusive to the residents they are supposed to care for. Their mentality is that they can abuse, assault, isolate and sexually abuse residents with dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease as the victim cannot relay the abuse to anyone. In many cases they do not even remember being abused, molested or injured. Our team of Maryland dementia abuse lawyers will not tolerate this and will fight to get your family the care, therapy and compensation they are entitled for their injuries, pain and suffering.

While most changes in the brain that cause dementia are permanent and worsen over time, thinking and memory problems caused by the following conditions may improve when the condition is treated or addressed:

  • Depression
  • Medication side effects
  • Excess use of alcohol
  • Thyroid problems
  • Vitamin deficiencies

Diagnosis of dementia

There is no one test to determine if someone has dementia. Doctors diagnose Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia based on a careful medical history, a physical examination, laboratory tests, and the characteristic changes in thinking, day-to-day function and behavior associated with each type. Doctors can determine that a person has dementia with a high level of certainty. But it’s harder to determine the exact type of dementia because the symptoms and brain changes of different dementias can overlap. In some cases, a doctor may diagnose “dementia” and not specify a type. If this occurs it may be necessary to see a specialist such as a neurologist or gero-psychologist.

Contact Our Maryland Dementia Abuse Lawyers

If you or someone you know has been the victim of dementia abuse, you are not alone. Contact our Maryland nursing home dementia abuse attorneys to discuss your case. No fee of any sort if we do not win for you.

Dementia treatment and care

Treatment of dementia depends on its cause. In the case of most progressive dementias, including Alzheimer’s disease, there is no cure and no treatment that slows or stops its progression. But there are drug treatments that may temporarily improve symptoms. The same medications used to treat Alzheimer’s are among the drugs sometimes prescribed to help with symptoms of other types of dementiasNon-drug therapies can also alleviate some symptoms of dementia.

Ultimately, the path to effective new treatments for dementia is through increased research funding and increased participation in clinical studies. Right now, volunteers are urgently needed to participate in clinical studies and trials about Alzheimer’s and other dementias.

Learn more: Medications for Memory LossAlternative Treatments for Alzheimer’s 

Dementia risk and prevention

Sprint for Discovery

New research shows there are things we can do to reduce the risk of mild cognitive impairment and dementia. Some risk factors for dementia, such as age and genetics, cannot be changed. But researchers continue to explore the impact of other risk factors on brain health and prevention of dementia. Some of the most active areas of research in risk reduction and prevention include cardiovascular factors, physical fitness and diet.

  • Cardiovascular risk factors: Your brain is nourished by one of your body’s richest networks of blood vessels. Anything that damages blood vessels anywhere in your body can damage blood vessels in your brain, depriving brain cells of vital food and oxygen. Blood vessel changes in the brain are linked to vascular dementia. They often are present along with changes caused by other types of dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease and dementia with Lewy bodies. These changes may interact to cause faster decline or make impairments more severe. You can help protect your brain with some of the same strategies that protect your heart — don’t smoke; take steps to keep your blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar within recommended limits; and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Physical exercise: Regular physical exercise may help lower the risk of some types of dementia. Evidence suggests exercise may directly benefit brain cells by increasing blood and oxygen flow to the brain.
  • Diet: What you eat may have its greatest impact on brain health through its effect on heart health. The best current evidence suggests that heart-healthy eating patterns, such as the Mediterranean diet, also may help protect the brain. A Mediterranean diet includes relatively little red meat and emphasizes whole grains, fruits and vegetables, fish and shellfish, and nuts, olive oil and other healthy fats.