When an older adult starts to develop significant issues with their short-term memory, this can create safety problems that may limit their ability to keep living independently. Due to a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s or dementia, many older adults find that they are safer when they move into a memory care facility or a memory care unit within a larger residential facility.
Unfortunately, the well-founded concerns that many loved ones have about abuse and neglect in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities can be amplified if their loved one is a memory care resident.
What are the unique challenges that loved ones should be aware of?
Memory care residents are usually unreliable narrators and are rarely in a position to advocate for their own interests effectively. Therefore, they rely on others to understand when something is going wrong so that they can benefit from intervention and protection. As a result, it often falls to loved ones to spot signs of abuse and neglect because memory care residents can’t speak to their experiences.
Generally speaking, the old adage “If you see something, say something” should always remain in the backs of the minds of those whose loved ones are memory care residents. Although abuse and neglect of these older adults can be challenging to identify and prove, they are members of a uniquely vulnerable population and are abused and neglected at astonishing rates.
As such, if something seems truly wrong and the explanations that are being provided for a resident’s physical injuries or emotional changes aren’t quite adding up, it can benefit loved ones to speak with an experienced legal professional. They can help get to the bottom of what’s happening and help you understand your options.