One of the most difficult decisions that family members will ever make is deciding to move a loved one into a nursing home or assisted living facility. You may have extensively researched the facilities in the area, hoping that the one you selected would provide your loved one with the best possible care.
You have the right to expect that the nursing facility you choose will treat your loved one with dignity and respect. If the professional caretakers break the trust you have placed in them by abusing or neglecting your loved one, they must be brought to justice.
The New York nursing home abuse attorneys at Cellino Law firmly believe that no amount of abuse or neglect should be tolerated. We provide our valued clients with compassionate and caring service while aggressively going after all parties responsible for the abuse of your family member. If you know or suspect that your loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse, contact our personal injury law firm today to schedule a free case consultation.
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What To Do If Your Loved One is a Victim of Nursing Home Abuse
Your loved ones may be unable or afraid to speak up, so you must be vigilant in identifying any signs of nursing home neglect or abuse. Familiarize yourself with the signs of abuse and make frequent unscheduled visits to the nursing home.
If you suspect that a member of your family is being abused or neglected in a New York nursing home, don’t hesitate to take action:
- Contact the authorities. If you believe that it is an emergency situation, call 911 immediately. Police and paramedics may be dispatched to the facility, ensuring that your loved one receives the medical attention that he or she requires. The police will fill out a report documenting the situation that could be useful later on when pursuing a claim or lawsuit.
- Report the situation. Speak to your loved one’s caregiver or speak to the nursing home’s administrator and request that an investigation be conducted.
- Transfer your loved one. Depending on the situation, you may need to admit your loved one into the hospital for adequate treatment of his or her injuries. Otherwise, if your loved one is unsafe at the current facility, help him or her move to a different nursing home or in with a family member.
- Contact the New York State Department of Health. File a complaint with the NY Department of Health and they will investigate your claim. As part of the investigation process, department representatives may visit the nursing home, speak to administrators, interview employees, and review records. The results of the investigation could potentially be used as evidence in your case.
- Call a nursing home abuse lawyer. The trusted New York personal injury attorneys at Cellino Law firmly believe that all victims of nursing home abuse deserve justice and compensation for their pain and suffering. Our lawyers will help you determine whether you have a claim and guide you on what steps to take when filing a nursing home abuse case.
Common Types of New York Nursing Home Abuse
New York nursing homes care for the needs of the elderly and those who are no longer able to care for themselves. The administrators, nurses, and all other staff members are legally obligated to provide the residents of the facility with a certain standard of care. When they fail to do so, residents are neglected or abused.
The liability may be theirs, but some responsibility still rests on your shoulders. Make sure to look out for your loved one and be alert to the signs of the different types of abuse.
Physical abuse occurs when a staff member is overly aggressive or even violent in interacting with a resident. This may include slapping, hitting, grabbing, or shoving. Other forms of physical abuse are force-feeding, physical or chemical restraints, or overmedicating.
Victims of physical nursing home abuse may not have the ability to report that they are being harmed, or they may be afraid of the repercussions of doing so. Since your loved ones may be unable to defend themselves, it’s vital that family members keep an eye out for signs of physical abuse.
Be alert to the following signs of New York nursing home abuse:
- Broken bones
- Pressure marks
- Broken eyeglasses
- Indicators of deliberate medication errors
You know your loved one’s normal behavior better than anyone else. The signs of nursing home negligence may seem minor at first but could be worth further investigation.
Be alert to sudden changes of behavior when certain staff members come near them. This could include flinching, cowering, lack of eye contact, or refusing to speak. If a staff member tries to prevent you from seeing your family member, this could be another indication of abuse.
New York elder abuse is not always physical alone – it can be emotionally or psychologically damaging. Nursing home staff can inflict fear, anguish, and distress upon a resident by using verbal or non-verbal cues.
There are various types of emotional abuse:
- Verbal:This is when an elderly resident is yelled at or suffers insults, threats, bullying, or belittling
- Psychological torment: Nursing home caregivers may manipulate residents by blaming them for problems they didn’t cause or making them feel guilty
- Isolation: Leaving residents alone for extended periods of time, or “punishing” individuals by isolating them from other residents, friends, and social occasions
Emotional abuse can be difficult to identify since it may not leave physical wounds. The following may be signs that your loved one is being emotionally abused. When he or she:
- Experiences a change in eating or sleeping patterns
- Appears withdrawn, quiet, or depressed
- Fails to make eye contact
- Stays away from friends or family
- Engages in self-harm
If you witness a caregiver disrespecting your loved one or if you suspect emotional abuse, don’t hesitate to report it to the nursing home administrators and the proper authorities. By reporting the incident, you will protect your loved one from future abuse and prevent the abusive caregiver from harming others.
New York nursing home residents, some of whom have Alzheimer’s or dementia, may be victims of sexual assault. This type of abuse includes unwanted intercourse, touching, groping, or sexual activity of any kind. The sexual predator may be a staff member, fellow resident, or visitor.
Nursing home facilitators in New York have an obligation to protect residents from all sorts of harm, including sexual abuse. All staff members should be subject to a complete background check before hiring to ensure that they don’t have a history of sexual abuse or misconduct.
In New York, it is against the law to engage in sexual acts with anyone who does not have his or her full mental capacities or is unable to speak and therefore also unable to give consent. As personal injury attorneys, it is our mission to ensure anyone that is a victim of sexual assault in a nursing home or assisted living facility receives the justice they deserve.
Our indignation motivates us to defend the rights of the elderly who are being abused in the facilities meant to be caring for them. Schedule a free consultation with us to find out what can be done to get justice for your family.
A resident of a New York nursing home or long-term care facility may be targeted for his or her financial assets. Financial exploitation may come from staff members, visitors, or fellow residents.
Financial abuse may take different forms, including:
- Stealing money or material possessions
- Opening credit cards or accounts under the senior’s name
- Forging documents
- Manipulating them into giving expensive gifts
- Overcharging for services
- Coercing them to change their will or power of attorney
If you notice that your family member has experienced a significant change in his or her financial status, don’t hesitate to investigate the situation. He or she may be unaware of being taken advantage of financially or too embarrassed to admit what happened.
What is Nursing Home Neglect and Why Does It Occur?
Unlike abuse, nursing home negligence is not done with the intent to cause harm to the resident. New York nursing home neglect occurs when residents do not receive proper care, therefore suffering mentally and physically as a result.
The most common cause of nursing home negligence is understaffing. Employees who are overworked, tired, and stressed may be unable to provide the standard of care needed to keep residents safe, healthy, and happy.
However, just because nursing home neglect is unintentional doesn’t mean it isn’t dangerous. When nursing home residents are not properly cared for, they may suffer physically, emotionally, and mentally. Lack of care in varying degrees may result in hospitalization or even wrongful death.
Medical neglect occurs when a nursing home resident’s health care needs are not properly attended to. This could include:
- Failure to properly administer medications
- Failure to move residents with mobility issues, putting them at risk for bedsores or pressure ulcers
- Failure to report health issues to the doctors and nurses
- Failure to care for existing health problems such as diabetes and Alzheimer’s
Hygiene and basic needs neglect
Nursing home facilities are required to provide all residents with safe and clean living conditions and aid with basic personal hygiene. Signs that your family member’s hygiene and basic needs are not being met may include:
- Disheveled or unkempt appearance
- Soiled clothing or bedsheets
- Untrimmed hair and nails
- Extreme weight loss or gain
Emotional or social neglect
Elderly ones need and benefit from social interaction and activities, which can help improve their mood and mental health. Emotional neglect occurs when:
- Residents are left alone for extended periods of time
- Residents who have mobility issues are left without canes, wheelchairs, or walkers
- Residents are not provided with needed exercise
Why Contact a New York Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Nursing homes and long-term care facilities must abide by both state and federal obligations. When they fail to do so, they can be held legally liable and be forced to pay for the harm they have caused. As soon as the administrators of a nursing home hear that a neglect or abuse claim has been filed, they will likely reach out to you and suggest that the matter be handled quietly.
However, keep in mind that administrators are interested in what’s best for their facility. They want to pay out as little as possible for nursing home abuse and neglect claims while also keeping bad reports from going public. Not to mention that you and your family may deserve a higher amount than the facility’s initial settlement offer.
Once you agree on a settlement amount and sign a release form, you won’t be able to pursue further compensation. It’s therefore imperative to speak to a nursing home abuse attorney before accepting any offer – it just might be an unfair one.
After taking on your case, a personal injury lawyer from our law firm will immediately step up to the plate. There will be no delay in getting started on investigating the reports of abuse and neglect, gathering evidence, and building a solid case on your behalf.
Your attorney may pursue the following damages:
- Medical expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment
- Wrongful death
Schedule a Free Consultation With Cellino Law Today
If your loved one has suffered due to abuse or neglect in a nursing home or assisted living facility, contact an attorney at Cellino Law today. Nursing home abuse cases are one personal injury practice area that our law firm focuses on. We care about our clients and are eager to help make a positive difference in their lives.
Cellino Law has been serving residents in the State of New York for over 60 years. We have helped our valued clients win over $2 billion in compensation, and we will fight for your family members to the best of our ability. When we take on your case, our compassionate nursing home abuse lawyers will fight to recover every dollar of compensation your loved one is entitled to.
Contact our law firm to speak to an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer today. Call us at 800-555-5555 or fill out the online evaluation form to schedule an appointment. Our skilled legal team is available 24/7 to offer free consultations to victims of elder abuse and their families.