Elderly Lives Matter®

How bed bugs can worsen dementia symptoms

On Behalf of | Apr 22, 2024 | Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

For many families, nursing homes offer a sense of security and well-being for their elderly loved ones. These facilities usually provide essential care, support and a comfortable environment.

However, a bed bug infestation can disrupt this delicate balance, especially for residents living with dementia. For families that have a loved one with dementia in a care facility, it helps to know how bed bugs can impact their dementia symptoms.

Why bed bugs pose a particular threat in nursing homes

Bed bugs are parasitic insects that feed on human blood. While their bites are not inherently dangerous, they can cause itchy welts and disrupt sleep. Nursing homes, unfortunately, present ideal breeding grounds for these pests. For instance, residents share rooms and common areas, allowing bed bugs to spread easily between individuals and their belongings.

Additionally, many residents have limited mobility or difficulty taking preventative measures against bed bugs. Visitors or staff can also unknowingly introduce bed bugs from other locations.

How bed bugs can exacerbate dementia symptoms

Dementia is a general term for a decline in cognitive function that can affect memory, thinking and reasoning. Bed bugs can significantly impact the well-being of residents with dementia in several ways. To begin with, the constant itching and sleep disturbances caused by bed bugs can lead to heightened anxiety and stress. This can be particularly detrimental for dementia patients, who may struggle to cope with these feelings.

Additionally, the disruption in sleep patterns and the overall stress of an infestation can further cloud a dementia patient’s already fragile sense of time and place. This can lead to increased confusion, disorientation and agitation. Some dementia patients may misinterpret the bites as something else entirely, leading to delusions or paranoia. This can be emotionally distressing and make caring for them more challenging.

Bed bug infestations are a serious concern in nursing homes, particularly for residents with dementia. For families that find out their loved one’s dementia symptoms have been worsened by a bed bug infestation, legal recourse may be possible to hold facilities accountable.

Past Client Stories

Voices We’ve Raised

Contact Us For A Free Consultation

We Are Ready To Help