Harvey & Foote Law Firm
Nursing Home Abuse And Personal InjuryThroughout New Mexico

Albuquerque New Mexico Nursing Home Abuse Law Blog

Despite the dangers, nursing home abuse cases are underreported

Nursing home abuse is unlawful and can happen to anyone who is living in a nursing home in New Mexico. Though seniors are at risk of suffering harm at the hands of their roommates and other residents, many of them are being abused by the workers. Loved ones are encouraged to visit often and report any signs and suspicions of mistreatment to facility administrators and the local authorities. Nursing homes also have an obligation to report abuse cases. However, “more than 25 percent of serious nursing home abuse incidents go unreported”, states NPR.org. 

Many seniors are enjoying good health and living longer. However, not all of them are capable of defending themselves from misbehaving caregivers, nor should they have to. Nursing homes must provide a safe and nurturing environment for their residents. They have a duty to carefully screen and train their workers. They must take measures to ensure their caregivers adhere to the highest standards when performing their job duties. Also, nursing homes must keep their facilities free of hazards that can compromise the safety of their residents. 

3 dangers of psychotropic drugs in nursing homes

When you make the difficult decision to transition your elderly parent into a nursing home, you doubtlessly trust that the facility you choose will provide adequate care. The last thing you would expect is that the professionals working there would be negligent and perhaps even abusive towards your loved one. Unfortunately, however, this happens more frequently than you might think.

One of the most common forms of abuse in nursing homes is the misadministration of medication. This is particularly true of psychotropic drugs. While such prescriptions are sometimes necessary for patients, they can also become dangerous if the staff does not handle them with care.

Recognizing the signs of financial exploitation

One form of elder abuse that you should learn how to recognize if you decide to move your elderly parent into a nursing home in Albuquerque involves finances. Financial exploitation affects many older people, not just those who live in nursing homes. According to a study on Forbes.com, for every 44 financial exploitation incidents, only one is reported. Financial abuse is one of the most underreported forms of abuse that seniors experience. 

Many older people are not comfortable admitting they are being manipulated financially, others are not aware of it. Family members play an important role in preventing it. Learn the warning signs of financial exploitation so you can take actions to protect your older relatives. 

A closer look at preventing falls in a nursing home

Many families with elderly loved ones in New Mexico pay considerable attention to the living condition of residents at nursing home facilities before deciding where to house their family member. Their thorough research reflects the type of quality care they wish their loved one to have access to. Unfortunately, there are instances where human error, lapses in communication and even blatant ignorance can create hazardous conditions for residents at nursing home facilities. 

One of the most common types of injuries in nursing homes is falls. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, emergency rooms see approximately 2.8 million elderly people every year for slips and falls. They report that another 300,000 are hospitalized for fractures to their hips. Falls can result in head injuries, broken bones, decreased physical mobility and anxiety among other things. 

Untreated car accident injuries can lead to wrongful death

If you have never been involved in a car accident in Albuquerque before, then you might not realize how life-changing the event can be. Although you might not want to think about being injured in one, you should not overlook the possibility that you or a loved one could die in a collision. In 2016, 402 people in New Mexico lost their lives to motor vehicle wrecks, states the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, Highway Loss Data Institute. Many of the victims were not drivers, some of them were vehicle occupants. 

It is not uncommon for some car accident victims to avoid medical care right after their ordeals. They may think they have nothing to worry about because they look and feel normal. However, some individuals do not realize they have internal injuries that might not show up until days later. Abdominal pain, severe bruising and headaches can indicate internal hemorrhaging and serious soft tissue injuries that can be life-threatening, states FindLaw. 

As many as 1 in 4 cases of nursing home abuse

A recent government audit in 33 states found that more than one out of four possible cases of abuse against nursing home patients were not reported to authorities. In the cases that were reported, nursing homes frequently violated the reporting guidelines and failed to report the incidents within the required timeframes.

 

What are the rights of nursing home patients?

If you have a loved one in a nursing home in New Mexico, it is important that you and your loved one understands his or her rights. Living in a facility does not mean a person is stripped of basic rights. While they may have to follow rules, this should never interfere with their quality of life or their ability to be happy.

According to the New Mexico Aging & Long-Term Services Department, residents in nursing homes have specific rights that should never be taken away. This includes a right to a lawyer if he or she feels a rights violation has occurred. Residents also can speak with an ombudsman, who can act as a mediator to help you and your loved one talk to the nursing home staff about your concerns.

Why you should always seek medical treatment after a car accident

When it comes to dealing with the immediate aftermath of a car accident in Albuquerque, there is a possibility that you might not be able to think clearly. After all, you have just gone through a very traumatic event that could change your life. No matter how you feel or the thoughts that are running through your mind, you should not turn down any medical care you are offered. 

According to Fortune.com, in 2016, there were 40,000 car accident fatalities. That does not include the number of people who later succumbed to their injuries in the days, weeks and months following their accidents. Sometimes, injuries are not always apparent right after motor vehicle collisions. 

Admission agreement bars nursing home patient from civil recourse

Families who entrust their loved ones to the care or nursing homes in Albuquerque do so with the expectation that they will receive the highest quality of care. Sadly, rather than meeting that expectation, the staffs of such facilities sometimes instead perpetrate verbal, physical and even sexual abuse on residents. Those who discover that their family members or friends have experienced such abuse likely assume that legal recourse is available to them to make those guilty of it pay (and to hold the facilities that allow it to happen accountable). Yet surprisingly, that is not always the case. 

It is estimated that nearly 50 percent of the 2.5 million residents of America's nursing homes are limited in the action they can take against such facilities by arbitration agreements. Such agreements state that rather than taking civil action in cases of abuse, such incidents must be directed to third-party arbiter. These restrictions means that rulings on disputes are not subject to state and federal regulations, and no methods exist to appeal an arbiter's decision. Such agreements first started to be introduced by nursing homes as requirements for admission back in 2009. Recent legislation proposed by the Trump Administration would make it easier to include such clauses in their admission contracts. 

Types of damages in a wrongful death claim

Losing a loved one can be difficult to handle emotionally, mentally and financially. When that loss is triggered by the negligence of another party, it may be possible to file a wrongful death claim.

For those with a solid case, it is important to calculate the desired damages properly. There are a few types of damages to consider in a wrongful death case.

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