Family members planning to visit loved ones in a nursing home this holiday season should pay special attention to how residents are being treated. Staff members may be on their best behavior, but it shouldn’t stop you from taking notice of signs of neglect or abuse at New York City nursing homes or elsewhere that you may be visiting.
Staff lay-offs due to budgetary constraints at long-term care facilities have New York nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys concerned about more cases of patients or residents being mistreated. Older people are easy targets, so staff may behave inappropriately when they are forced to work longer hours or take on more responsibilities.
A recent accident involving a resident at a Queens nursing home ended tragically. Justice News Flash reports a resident in a wheelchair fell down a flight of stairs and died from injuries. Police investigators are trying to determine if there was inappropriate behavior or whether it was an accident. Even if no one pushed the resident down the stairs, there could be negligence found on behalf of the staff on duty at the time. There are a set of doors that leads to the staircase that are supposed to be locked and can only be opened by the use of an employee code. The doors were allegedly left open, which could have led to the fatal accident. Nursing home administrators and police officials are conducting an investigation.
Staten Island Live reports of a separate nursing home abuse incident when a disabled patient was allegedly hit on the head numerous times by an aide. The incident was made worse when a supervisor allegedly attempted to cover up the incident. Both employees were fired but the nursing home has not been cited for any violations as a result of the misconduct. The two employees pleaded guilty to being in willful violation of public health law.
Nursing home residents who are victims of abuse or neglect may be too scared or unable to communicate what is happening to them. It is important that loved ones look for signs that indicate patients or residents are being mistreated.
Signs or symptoms of abuse or neglect at nursing homes:
-Inexplicable bruising, rashes, lacerations, broken bones or other injuries that can be caused by assault, battery or violence.
-Medical staff unable to answer direct questions when asked about a patient’s conditions.
-Residents appear dirty. Hair not being washed or combed, dirty clothes, and strong body odor are indicators that a patient is not being hygienically taken care of.
-Noticeable change in personality. Mood swings or irritability can be strong indicators that something is going on.
-Patients suddenly seem drugged or over-medicated and unable to respond to visitors.
-Employees appear to be short-tempered or rough when attending to patients.
Family members are encouraged to visit loved ones often even beyond the holidays to make sure they are receiving the best possible care.
Contact the New York City nursing home neglect and abuse attorneys at the Law Offices of Nicholas Rose, PLLC for a free appointment to discuss your case when an elder in your family has been mistreated at a facility. Call 1-877-313-7673.
Queens Nursing Home Resident Dies in Staircase Fall, by Nicole Howley, JusticeNewsFlash.com
Beating, cover-up at nursing center on Staten Island, by Frank Donnelly, StatenIslandLive.com.
More Blog Entries:
NSC Raises Awareness about Slip and Fall Accidents in New York City and Elsewhere, New York Injury Lawyer Blog, June 21, 2011.