If you made the decision to transfer your family member to a long-term care facility, such as a nursing home, chances are that you tried to find out as much information as possible before your loved one was moved. Regardless of whether you spent a large amount of time researching the facility, or relied on the recommendations of others, abuse and neglect inside these facilities is not uncommon. According to the National Ombudsman Reporting System (NORS) in 2014, 14,258 or 7.6% of 188,599 complaints reported to the program involved abuse, gross neglect or exploitation of nursing home residents.
The most common types of physical abuse inflicted upon nursing home elders are welts, wounds, bruises, broken bones, head injuries, dental injuries and lacerations. Staff-inflicted harm may be nutrition and hydration deprivation which can lead to sleep disturbances, susceptibility to new illnesses including sexually transmitted diseases, exacerbation of pre-existing health conditions and increased risk of death. Elder residents who have been abused had a 300% higher risk of death compared to those who were not abused. Any kind of abuse can have a psychological impact leading to emotional acting out, social isolation and depression. Financial exploitation has a great impact on the resident and their families and may increase dependence upon federal health care programs such as Medicaid.
When visiting your loved one, ask them if they feel like they can report any problems to the administration without fear of retaliation, and that total confidentiality is guaranteed to anyone reporting abuse. Make sure that the hallways are wide enough to meet residents’ needs and that there is adequate lighting. Observe if the residents’ rooms are near the dining hall and the nurse’s station is in close proximity to the residents’ rooms. Visitors should check in at the front entrance before going to a resident’s room.
The compassionate, knowledgeable and skilled attorneys at Jacoby & Meyers, LLP NY have been serving the community in Manhattan for decades. We know how to investigate and prosecute the perpetrators of these crimes and help our clients get justice and receive compensation. We have extensive experience in handling nursing home neglect and abuse cases and will remain at your side during the entire legal process. Call 877-504-5562 or email us at [email protected].
Source: Lifespan of Greater Rochester, Inc., Weill Cornell Medical Center of Cornell University, & New York City Dept. for the Aging (2011). “Under the Radar: New York State Elder Abuse Prevalence Study”