Brooklyn, NY- Residents of nursing homes are a very vulnerable and it is their vulnerability that makes them easy targets for abuse and neglect. Any nursing home resident can be targeted by abusers or negligent staff, but Alzheimer’s patients are especially vulnerable. And despite their cognitive issues, nursing home residents who suffer from Alzheimer’s experience the effects of abuse and neglect long after their abuse.
For the 2014 study, conducted by the University of Iowa, researchers showed sad films to two groups of elderly persons: one group of Alzheimer’s patients and one group of people with no cognitive impairment. After the films were over, researchers then asked study participants what they remembered about the film. Some of the Alzheimer’s patients had trouble recalling details about the film and some couldn’t even remember they even saw a film, but they remembered and felt the emotions that arose while they watched the film.
Researchers believe that although Alzheimer’s patients have difficulty remembering events and people, the emotions they feel when they experience those events tend to linger. They may be unable to recall the event that caused them happiness or pain, but they still feel the emotions tied to those events. Researchers said that emotional processing in Alzheimer’s patients remains intact, especially in the early stages of the disease.
Not only do they still feel sadness, researchers found that the effects of the emotions Alzheimer’s patients feel are more profound. Their state of sadness and caused greater distress and lingered longer because they were unable to determine the root cause which researchers say that making the emotions more difficult to “manage.”
Researchers wrote in the study which appeared in the September 2014 edition of Cognitive & Behavioral Neurology:
“Our findings suggest that even though patients with AD [Alzheimer’s Disease] may not remember instances of maltreatment, they can still experience the negative emotions triggered by such events. The fact that these patients’ feelings can persist, even in the absence of memory, highlights the need to avoid causing negative feelings and to try to induce positive feelings with frequent visits and social interactions, exercise, music, dance, jokes, and serving patients their favorite foods.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control, nursing home neglect can increase an elderly person’s risk for developing fear and anxiety and in some suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome.
Nursing home neglect can be intentional or unintentional, but it has numerous effects on the victim anyway. The long-term effects of nursing home neglect or abuse go beyond the psychological, it can impact the victim’s health as well. Some cases of neglect can be so severe, a patient can lose their life.
If your loved one is being subjected to neglect in their New York nursing home, USAttorneys recommends you contact the offices of Jaroslawicz and Jaros. Their team of nursing home neglect lawyers will examine the details of your case and help your loved one recover damages for any injuries they suffer and their emotional distress.