According to a survey conducted by the New York State Attorney General, 98% of New York’s nursing homes surveyed failed to meet federal recommendations for nurse staffing. Based on these statistics, it is not surprising that nursing home residents often do not receive the appropriate attention and care. What follows is a basic guide to recognizing and acting upon signs of nursing home abuse or neglect.
Participate In The Care of Your Loved One
It is very important for the staff at a nursing home to know that the family of the resident is interested in the resident’s well-being. Therefore, take an active role in the care-giving, visit often and make your presence known to the nursing home staff members.
Identify Signs and Symptoms
Signs and symptoms of nursing home abuse or neglect that loved ones of residents should look for include:
- Bedsores (Pressure sores, Decubitus Ulcers)
- Nursing home staff refusing or delaying visitors
- Sudden changes in behavior
- Unexplained bruises or cuts
- Choking incidents
- Significant weight loss or gain
- Unexpected death
- Medication errors.
If you notice any change in your loved one’s condition or see any of the above signs of neglect/abuse, speak with the Director of Nursing or the Administrator of the facility. If necessary, file a formal written complaint detailing the alleged abuse or neglect. You may also consider filing a formal complaint with the New York State Department of Health. The DOH is required to investigate any such complaints. Finally, you or your loved one may have the right to pursue a claim or lawsuit against the facility so an attorney concentrating in Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse should be contacted.