As our parents and loved ones age into their sunset years, they find it increasingly difficult to enjoy the full range of physical activities to which they were once accustomed. Sometimes, matters get to the point where autonomous living is no longer possible or practical. When this happens, we sometimes find it necessary to place our aging parents in a nursing facility, where they can enjoy the benefits of 24/7 care from trained professionals
That’s how it’s supposed to work, at least. It’s an unfortunate fact that while many nursing homes are well-run facilities staffed by a compassionate, skilled team, some of these establishments fail to provide their residents with an adequate level of care. Neglect and even outright abuse in nursing homes are, tragically, not uncommon.
Rights of Nursing Home Residents
What can you do if you have reason to suspect that your loved one is being mistreated at a nursing home? Luckily, the law is on your side. The New York State Department of Health (NYS DOH) requires nursing homes to maintain suitable living conditions for their residents. Individuals staying at a nursing facility are entitled to a wide range of rights, including but not limited to the following:
- Non-discriminatory treatment
- Clean, comfortable living conditions
- Freedom to make their own decisions
- Freedom to maintain their own money and personal property
- The ability to communicate privately with others
- Access to a channel to file formal complaints
If any of these rights are violated, then you should consider contacting a nursing home abuse lawyer on behalf of your loved one.
Types of Nursing Home Negligence
There are a number of ways that nursing home residents can develop serious physical injury and/or health complications.
- Assault – Residents sometimes suffer harsh physical treatment from nurses and other staffers. Altercations with other residents can lead to injury as well.
- Falls – Elderly and/or physically impaired individuals are prone to falls—and this tendency is only heightened if they are forced to live in an unsafe environment.
- Malnutrition – Residents sometimes do not get the full range of nutrients they need to remain in the best possible health.
- Bedsores – Otherwise known as pressure sores, these are essentially ulcers that develop when blood flow is cut off to a specific soft tissue region. Among nursing home residents these sores are quite common and, left untreated, can lead to serious medical complications, including sepsis, anemia, and gangrene.
- Incorrect medication – Poorly trained or negligent nurses may give residents the wrong medication, which can lead to a host of adverse health issues.
- Neglect – Residents may be left unattended for lengthy periods of time.
Signs of Nursing Home Neglect & Abuse
Abuse in nursing homes isn’t always easy to detect. If your loved one has experienced any of the following, then it may be a sign that they are not getting the care and treatment they deserve at the nursing home.
- Unexplained injury
- Rapid weight loss
- Changes in behavior (e.g., becoming uncharacteristically withdrawn)
- Injuries from falls
- Reluctance to communicate in presence of staff
- Frequent illness
The Dearie Law Firm, P.C., has years of experience with representing clients whose loved ones have suffered nursing home negligence. To speak with a nursing home neglect lawyer in New York, Contact Us or call any time at 1-800-2-DEARIE.