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Conflicts between nursing home residents often chalked up to dementia – the real problem is inadequate care and neglect

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By Eilon Caspi

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When small children (that have not yet developed cognitive abilities) cause harm to others it is very natural to blame the people that are supposed to be in charge at the time, because it is obvious the children can't be held responsible for their actions.

But when the same happens to dementia patients the opposite happens, that makes no sense. The reasons why the patients can't be held responsible are the same, and the responsibility for the problems resides in the people that are supposed to take care in order to avoid this. The last part of the article is very important, blaming dementia patients solves absolutely nothing, because there is nothing they can do to improve, blame should go the the company that make a business of ensuring the patients and their families that they will be safe but neglect to actually do what is necessary for this.

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The problems seemingly endemic in US nursing homes are found elsewhere in the world where the same profit motive for operators all too often results in inadequate staffing levels and pay for workers. That’s certainly been my experience in Australia, when trying to find suitable accommodation for family members who can no longer be looked after at home through extreme frailty or dementia. The model is quite clearly broken, but there seems to be little desire to fix it.

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