Moving an elderly parent or vulnerable family member into a nursing home is never an easy step to take. It is reasonable to expect that your loved one will receive the highest possible level of care. Sadly, that does not always happen. The National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) estimates that “at least one in 10 community-dwelling older adults experienced some form of abuse in the prior year.”
If you believe that your loved one is not receiving the proper care, it is imperative that you take immediate action to protect their health, safety, and overall well-being. You should always follow up on suspicions of problems in an assisted living facility. In this article, our Rochester nursing home negligence attorneys highlight four tips for reporting nursing home abuse in New York.
How To Report Nursing Abuse Or Neglect In New York
- Be Proactive: Make Sure Your Vulnerable Loved One is Safe
- Carefully Document Everything
- File a Complaint With the New York State Department of Health
First and foremost, it is crucial that you take proactive steps to protect your vulnerable loved one. If you feel that something is “off”, you need to follow up on the issue. In far too many cases, nursing home abuse and/or nursing home neglect goes unreported. If you are a concerned family member, you have the right to ask questions. Make sure you follow up on any issues that you notice. Nothing should come before the health and safety of your vulnerable family member. If you believe that they are unsafe in their current facility, the first step is taking action to get them the proper care and support that they need.
With nursing home abuse and nursing home neglect cases, you will want to have as much information as possible. To the best of your ability, you should try to carefully document everything that has happened. Get organized. Write down exactly what you believe (or fear) happened and record all of the steps that you took to address the matter. By getting organized, you and your family will be in a far better position to fix the problem, including getting the right care for your vulnerable loved one and holding the negligent facility liable for its failure to provide adequate support.
The New York State Department of Health is the agency responsible for accepting, reviewing, and investigating allegations of nursing home abuse and nursing home neglect. If you suspect that your loved one has been mistreated in a licensed assisted living facility, you should always file a formal complaint with the State of New York. You have several options for filing a complaint with the Department of Health:
- Phone: You can call the official state nursing home abuse hotline at 1-888-201-4563 to initiate a complaint.
- Mail: You can mail your complaint form to the agency at NYSDOH DRS/SNHCP
MAILSTOP: CA/LTC, EMPIRE STATE PLAZA, ALBANY, NEW YORK 12237.
- Fax: You can fax your complaint directly to the agency at 518-408-1157.
- Email: You can complete and email the nursing home complaint form by sending it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Make sure up-to-date contact information when you send in the complaint form. Here is a link to the proper form: New York Nursing Home Complaint Form DOH-5022.
Finally, your family should not hesitate to consult with an attorney. An experienced New York nursing home abuse lawyer will be able to review your case, answer questions, and help you take action to get justice and accountability. You and your family may be entitled to recover financial compensation to help support your vulnerable loved one.
The New York State Department of Health can help to investigate the matter. However, if you want to bring a claim for financial compensation—including for medical bills, relocation costs, out-of-pocket expenses, and your loved one’s pain and suffering—you need an experienced attorney. A lawyer will help you bring a case against the negligent nursing home facility.
Schedule A Free, Confidential Consultation With A Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
At Powers & Santola, LLP, our New York nursing home abuse attorneys are compassionate, reliable advocates for vulnerable residents and their families. We will protect your rights. If you have any questions about reporting nursing home abuse, we can help. Contact us today for a free, completely confidential review of your case. With offices in Syracuse, Rochester, and Albany, we handle nursing home abuse & negligence claims throughout New York.