Is Dementia a Risk Factor for Neglect?

By Pamela D Wilson CSA, CG, MS, BS/BA

Nearly 50% of individuals living in assisted living are diagnosed with dementia; one third to one half experience agitated behaviors at least once a week. Research indicates that these behaviors threaten the psychological and physical well-being of individuals diagnosed with dementia and often result in a higher likelihood of being neglected by care staff.1

How do behaviors of self-neglect, while living in the community, translate to behaviors of self-neglect when living in care communities? Is it possible to honor the wishes of individuals with dementia when these include behaviors of poor hygiene, expressions of anger or self-injurious behaviors?

How many of you agree or with the following? “Honoring the wishes of a person with capacity demonstrates respect for the individual. Honoring the wishes of a person without capacity is a form of abandonment. 1

Do structured activities and one-on-one attention reduce behaviors associated with dementia?

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©2014 Pamela D. Wilson, All Rights Reserved.

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