If you have a loved one in a nursing home facility, it is important to know the signs of neglect, so that you can move your loved one out as soon as possible and seek justice for what happened.
Finding out that a loved one has suffered from neglect in a nursing home may be a horrible realization. It is a discovery that your family’s trust in the facility’s owners, administrators and staff members has been violated.
If you suspect that your loved is being neglected or mistreated in a nursing home in Albany, Syracuse or elsewhere in New York, there is help available. The lawyers of Powers & Santola, LLP, can investigate the suspected case of neglect and help you to seek just compensation for your loved one’s suffering. Contact us today to find out more.
Violation of Nursing Home Residents’ Rights is a Type of Neglect
Nursing home residents have certain rights and protections in the state of New York. The violation of their rights is most likely a form of neglect. Nursing home residents have the following rights, according to the New York State Department of Health:
- Dignity, respect and a comfortable living environment
- Quality of care and treatment without discrimination
- Freedom of choice to make their own, independent decisions
- The safeguard of their property and money
- Safeguards in admission, transfer and discharge
- Privacy in communications
- Participation in organizations and activities of their choice
- An easy-to-use and responsive complaint procedure
- The exercise of all of their rights without fear of reprisals.
Signs of Nursing Home Neglect
If you know what to look out for, you will be able to respond more quickly to mistreatment of your loved one. Here are some possible signs of neglect in nursing homes:
- Failure to provide proper meals and nutrition – Take notice if your loved one has lost a lot of weight quickly, heals slowly from cuts or bruises or seems dehydrated.
- Failure to provide proper medication – Look out for sudden changes in behavior (which can result from improper medication), untreated infections or untreated bed sores. Excessive bed sores are often an indicator of overall poor clinical care.
- Failure to provide proper hygiene supervision – If your loved one seems unclean, is always wearing the same clothes or if his or her room is unsanitary, that could be a red flag.
- Lack of general supervision – Take note if your loved one wanders a lot, seems socially withdrawn or has unfriendly interaction with the nursing home staff. These could be signs that your loved one is not being supervised and emotionally cared for by nursing home employees.
Consequences of Nursing Home Neglect
It is no surprise that nursing home neglect has awful consequences. When a resident is being mistreated, he or she suffers in many ways, including:
- Bedsores – About one in 10 nursing home residents have them, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports. They should be treated by specialized wound care. Otherwise, the sores can progress to the point of losing a dangerous amount of skin tissue.
- Dehydration and malnutrition – These conditions can lead to a weakened immune system, loss of muscle mass and poor wound healing.
- Falls – Improper medication, a lack of assistance, environmental hazards or faulty equipment can lead to falls. The CDC estimates that 10 to 20 percent of falls in nursing homes result in a serious injury. They can also lead to disability and a reduced quality of life.
- Medication errors – These incidents can result in new illnesses, changes in personality or even death.
- Wandering or elopement – If unsupervised, residents with dementia or other cognitive loss may wander into unknown territory or even leave the facility. This is life-threatening if the resident wanders into unsafe areas or gets lost, especially during the harsh winters we experience in many parts of New York.
What Can You Do If Your Loved One Has Been Harmed by Nursing Home Neglect?
If you suspect that a loved one is suffering from neglect in a nursing home, you should report it to the NYS Department of Health. Call (888) 201-4563 or submit the Nursing Home Complaint Form you can access online. The state is legally required to investigate all nursing home complaints.
You will then need to seek legal help to determine the next steps. At Powers & Santola, LLP, our nursing home neglect attorneys will provide a free, immediate and confidential review of your case and help you to assess your options as you move forward. Call or contact us online today to schedule a consultation.
Sources / More Information
- Your Rights as a Nursing Home Resident in New York State and Nursing Home Responsibilities, NYS Department of Health
- Pressure Ulcers Among Nursing Home Residents, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- Falls in Nursing Homes, CDC
- Senior Health: How to Prevent and Detect Malnutrition, Mayo Clinic