7 risk factors that increase mortality due to dementia in nursing homes
Unfortunately, dementia is a form of Alzheimer's "one of only 10 causes of death in the United States that cannot be prevented, treated or slowed down " says Alzheimer & # 39; s Association. A growing majority of these individuals depend on the assistance provided by others to manage their daily activities, medications, financial needs and to keep them safe and reside in nursing homes.
People with dementia or Alzheimer's disease may be elderly, frail and naturally subject to higher rates of injury, infection or falls and at a greater risk of dying due to several known risk factors:
- Delirium related to infection and sepsis: Infections affecting nursing home residents can include urinary tract infections, diarrheal diseases, antibiotic-resistant staph infections and many others. For those with an infection and also fighting dementia, delirium has been associated with an increased risk of death.
- Falls: People with dementia have an increased risk of falls and hip fractures. Falls can also occur when personnel do not follow the protocol during the transfer, either manually or with the assistance of a lifting device.
- Age: Being 85 or older is associated with a significantly greater risk of death from Alzheimer's disease. About 1 in 70 people between 65 and 69 has dementia. Nearly 1 in 4 people aged 85 to 89 have dementia.
- Inability to perform daily activities: As dementia progresses, the ability to perform everyday tasks such as dressing, bathing, eating, socializing or walking decreases. This decrease in sedentary behavior is associated with an increased risk of death.
- Bedsores: Pressure ulcers increase the risk of death in those living with dementia. These bedsores are one of the most common and preventable injuries that occur in nursing homes and can actually serve as a serious warning sign of nursing home abandonment.
- Pneumonia: The development of pneumonia leads to an increased risk of death in people with dementia. Pneumonia must be treated quickly and aggressively for the best possible result. Unfortunately, the nursing home staff does not always notice when a patient has the initial stages of the disease.
- Nursing staff: Most nursing homes have fewer nurses and referring medical personnel, leaving nursing and nursing staff and personal assistants with 24-hour tasks to meet dietary, hygiene and medical needs and life of many patients. Those who require extra care, such as dementia patients, are often overlooked first.
The associated medical needs for residents with dementia are also more expensive than other major causes of death, such as heart disease, certain types of cancer and strokes that leave too many extra problems. Just as the population of our country continues to grow in the number of people affected by dementia, the need for support services and better funding found within nursing home facilities will have to be expanded. Until then, family members will have to remain vigilant in protecting their loved ones.
Lawyers for individuals and families with dementia
If you have a family member with dementia who has not been treated properly by medical staff or healthcare professionals, contact our Chicago lawyers to discuss your situation and allow us to help you.
Our consultations are always free, confidential and managed by one of our experienced lawyers. Click here to fill out an online application form or call us toll-free 1-877-374-1417 or 312-332-2872.
Also read: How well does your loved one's nursing home manage Alzheimer's and dementia sufferers?