Often times as loved ones grow older, they need a little extra assistance. When this requires medical care, they may be placed in a nursing home by family. This is done with the expectation that the individual will be provided with great care. However, it is an unfortunate reality that many people are mistreated in nursing homes. It is because of this that it is crucial for family members to look for warning signs of abuse when a loved one is in a facility. If you believe someone you love is the victim of nursing home abuse, contact an experienced New York medical malpractice attorney for assistance.
What are Signs of Abuse?
When you suspect a loved one is the victim of abuse in a nursing home, it is important to know what to look for. Signs of abuse or neglect can manifest in a variety of ways. This may be physical abuse, sexual abuse, medication errors, and more. Signs to look for can include:
- Broken bones
- Unexplained bruises
- Sudden weight loss
- If the loved one expresses a fear of being left alone
In 1997, The Older Adults Protective Services Act was amended to mandate suspected abuse reports. This requires administrators and employees of facilities to report any suspected abuse. These reports should be to the local Area Agency on Aging and licensed agencies. In the event of sexual abuse, serious physical or bodily injury, or suspicious death, reports should be made to the Department of Aging as well as local law enforcement.
What Rights Do Residents Have?
Residents in nursing homes have certain rights. This can include the following:
- To be informed of their personal medical conditions
- To be informed of any charges or services
- To receive the policies, resident rights and procedures of their facility in writing
- To be free of restraints unless medically ordered
- To manage their own finances
- To choose their own doctor and pharmacy
- All records are confidential
- To have their privacy, respect, and dignity maintained
- To participate in their plan of care and refuse any treatment they wish
- To voice their concerns without fear
- To receive immediate visitor access from loved ones
- To not be discharged or transferred unless for medical reasons, if the facility closes, nonpayment, or for reasons of their welfare or other residents’ welfare
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