Nursing home neglect and abuse is a tragic but all too familiar occurrence. Elderly or infirm patients are neglected leading to severe injuries and curtailing the golden years of the their lives. Don’t allow your loved ones to suffer because a nursing home has made a business decision to spend less money than necessary to provide good care to its residents.
New York Public Health Law 2801(d) allows for a statutory private right of action against a residential health care facility that has deprived a patient of the rights and or benefit established for that patient’s well being.
These include the right to appropriate medical and nursing care, including the failure to provide sufficiently- and properly-trained personnel to assist a patient in ambulating, and the failure to provide sufficient and adequate personnel to attend to a patient’s needs while a resident of a nursing care home.
The most obvious signs of elder abuse often include facial and bodily bruises, broken or fractured bones, bedsores, and malnutrition. However, the National Council on Aging (NCOA) provides a far more comprehensive definition of “elder abuse” on its website. In general, all grossly disrespectful, negligent and thoughtless treatment of the elderly is abusive.
The NCOA also notes that all forms of physical, emotional, and sexual abuse of older Americans is inexcusable and forbidden. In addition to those who work for or run nursing homes and eldercare centers – the most likely perpetrators of elder abuse are often people’s own relatives or privately hired caregivers. Estimates indicate that as many as one in ten (1 in 10) Americans age 60 or older have endured some form of elder abuse.
Both apathy and neglect frequently prove as physically damaging as many other forms of abuse. Lazy caregivers too often allow terrible bedsores to afflict the elderly – even though periodic visits into patients rooms each day can prevent these painful sores from ever developing.
As dementia and other types of unclear thinking develop, care and compassion should be the only routine responses. In many cases, simple dietary changes and a complete physical may reveal the need to treat a recurring urinary tract infection that’s causing the confused behavior. A geriatric medical care specialist should always be consulted before antipsychotics are given to any senior citizen who appears agitated or confused.
An article published in the October 2016 AARP bulletin entitled, “Overuse of Meds in Nursing Homes” addresses this crucial topic. It notes that as many as one in five nursing home residents in some states are being prescribed antipsychotic drugs just to make managing them easier. This is elder abuse and must never be tolerated. Contact the New York State Office for the Aging if you ever suspect this type of abuse is being practiced. Remember — the best thing you can do for any older friend or relative is to visit them often so you can be sure they’re receiving proper daily care.
If you’re suffering from any type of elder abuse, or know someone who is that you’d like to help, be sure to contact our New York nursing home abuse attorneys for advice. In certain types of elder abuse cases, we can try and intervene and stop the abuse. If nursing home or hired caregiver negligence is involved, we may also be able to file a lawsuit on your behalf and seek the maximum compensation available for your injuries.