As your loved ones’ age, some may have to be admitted to a nursing home. In fact, 40 percent of adults in the United States will enter a nursing home at some point in their lives. You want and expect the best care for your aging family member, but what happens when you find out they are suffering from nursing home abuse?
In a shocking statistic, over 30 percent of all nursing homes experience some form of resident abuse. Furthermore, 90 percent of abusers in a nursing home are known. This means the abuser is usually not a stranger and could be a caretaker, another resident, or even a common visitor. Finally, approximately only 20 percent of cases of nursing home abuse are reported. Many victims of abuse and neglect in a nursing home do not have the confidence or are not of sound mind to report it themselves, and the elder abuse may go unnoticed by the resident’s family.
What Leads to Nursing Home Abuse?
Unfortunately, 90 percent of nursing homes in the United States have too low of staff levels for proper care for residents. Many of the nursing home staff are overworked and must care for multiple residents during their shift. Sadly, it is easy to let things slip through the cracks, which may lead to nursing home neglect. If your loved one misses a dose of medication or develops bed sores from not being able to move for some time, they may be suffering from neglect.
Nursing home abuse may also be a problem if the staff in the assisted living facility is inexperienced. This results in unintentional neglect or abuse simply because the staff does not know better; even if they should. Inexperienced caregivers may not observe signs of malnutrition or other health problems until it is too late. Caregivers not receiving proper training to care for the residents is a form of nursing home abuse. Learn more about the signs of nursing home abuse and neglect in one of our past blogs.
Rights of Nursing Home Residents in New York State
If your loved one is a resident in one of the many nursing homes in Utica NY, they do have rights. According to the New York State Department of Health, as a resident, you have a right to:
- “Dignity, respect and a comfortable living environment”
- “Quality of care and treatment without discrimination”
- “Freedom of choice to make your own, independent decisions”
- “The safeguard of your property and money”
- “Safeguards in admission transfer and discharge”
- “Privacy in communications”
- “Participate in organizations and activities of your choice”
- “An easy to use and responsive complaint procedure”
- “Exercise all of your rights without fear of reprisals”
If you have a loved one living here in Central NY that is a resident currently in one of the nursing homes in Syracuse NY or in one of the nursing homes in Utica NY, be sure to request a copy of your rights as a resident upon admitting.
What Do I Do If I Suspect My Loved One Has Been A Victim Of Nursing Home Abuse?
If you suspect your loved one is suffering from nursing home abuse and neglect, you can do something about it. Though your emotions will be running high, remember to stay calm throughout the situation. Do not jump to conclusions until a proper investigation has been concluded. You should record all the signs of abuse whether it is weight loss or a poor living environment. Consult with the supervisor or facility manager regarding your concerns. If you do not receive a response, you may wish to consult Adult Protective Services. They will be able to step in and examine the situation. If you believe your loved one is in immediate danger, do not hesitate to call 911. However, it is always best to talk to the nursing home supervisor first if it is not an immediate threat. After completing these steps, you may wish to contact a personal injury lawyer with experience in nursing home negligence cases. They will be able to clearly explain your rights and inform you if you are entitled to compensation for the nursing home abuse.
If someone you love has suffered from elder abuse in an assisted living nursing home, they need The People’s Lawyer to fight for them. Nursing home abuse is a silent threat to our beloved elders. For many, they may be too scared to speak out. Brindisi, Murad, Brindisi & Pearlman are experienced personal injury lawyers in Central New York that specialize in nursing home neglect and abuse who are ready to fight for your loved one’s rights. Contact us for a free consultation today.
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