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Albuquerque New Mexico Nursing Home Abuse Law Blog

Physical abuse in nursing homes must be stopped

There are many types of abuse that nursing home residents can experience. Sadly, they often won't speak up about what they're going through because they feel like they are causing trouble. In some cases, they might even blame themselves for the abuse. There isn't ever a reason for nursing home residents to have to deal with any form of abuse.

Physical abuse is often the easiest to spot because the person may have bruises and other marks. It's also possible that staff members might use drugs or physical restraints, which are also forms of abuse in almost every case.

Know what to do if your loved one dies in a nursing home

Having a loved one in a nursing home often worries you that you'll one day get a phone call that they have passed away. While you know that this is probable, it isn't going to make things any easier when you do get the call. You should be prepared for what steps you need to take next.

The first thing you'll need to do is to contact the funeral home to complete the death certificate and remove your loved one's body. This will have to occur quickly because laws prevent the nursing home from being able to keep the body there for very long.

No resident is ever to blame for nursing home neglect

The last thing that you expect when you move into a nursing home is to be neglected by the staff members who are being paid to ensure you're cared for. Unfortunately, this is something that happens to senior citizens who have entrusted facilities with their care. If you're in this position, one of the most important things for you to remember is that this isn't your fault.

Your priority at this point is to get the neglect to stop. You'll have to speak up to make this happen. You aren't being bothersome, and you shouldn't be retaliated against because you want to receive the level of care that you should be provided. We're here to help you assert your rights so that you can live without having to worry about not being taken care of properly.

Many cases of nursing home abuse and neglect aren't reported

Elder abuse in nursing homes is atrocious. No senior citizen should have to contend with these type of incidents. What many people don't realize is that just because there aren't bruises and other physical marks doesn't mean that there isn't a problem. In fact, emotional abuse is substantiated much more often than physical abuse.

Emotional abuse cases make up around 15% of substantiated abuse claims, while physical abuse cases represent around 11%. The remaining cases included primarily self-neglect, elder neglect, and financial exploitation. One thing that's interesting to note is that the number of nursing home abuse and neglect cases that get reported is likely far fewer than the actual cases that occur.

Bed sores are a problem in many New Mexico nursing homes

When you helped your loved one transition into assisted living care, you may have been worried about quality care. If you're like most adult children of aging parents in New Mexico, you no doubt researched numerous facilities in your area and perhaps made multiple in-person visits as well.

The day-to-day care of your loved one when you're not around to observe what's going on is a key factor to his or her well-being. Nursing home care providers know how to keep your parent as safe and well as possible. Problems, such as bed sores, often arise, however, when care negligence occurs. This is why it's important to make impromptu visits and also to know where to seek support if something sparks your concern.

Nursing Home Regulations During COVID - What Has Changed?

Nursing home residents and caregivers currently make up about one-third of all COVID deaths in the United States, with over 28,000 deaths. 

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), have loosened federal nursing home regulations during the pandemic. Nursing homes are allowed to have COVID-positive residents, under certain guidelines

Residents and families may notice some changes. 

- Nursing homes can use rooms like conference and dining rooms for beds and residents.

- Nursing homes can use other buildings to isolate COVID-positive residents. 

- Nursing homes now have ten working days to give a resident a copy of his or her medical records. 

- Nursing homes do not allow visitors, except for end-of-life situations. During those visits, screening and masks are required, and family members are required to maintain a distance from their loved one.  

- Social activities are not required. 

- Residents may not be able to choose their roomate or receive advance notice before being moved. Facilities are not required to tell residents or their families why they were moved. 

- Many types of staff may feed or care for residents, even without certain qualifications or training. 

- Services like barbers and hairdressers are not permitted. 

Residents still have the right to get their medical records, speak with their families, and contact their State ombudsman program, which can investigate complaints and help resolve concerns with the facility. 

If you have concerns about your loved one's care in a New Mexico nursing home, please contact our office. We are available. 

Why are so many nursing home residents neglected?

A report published by The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) regulators in July 2018 showed that there are inherent problems with nursing homes in the United States. One of the most glaring inadequacies had to do with staffing. Many facilities that were studied didn't have an adequate staff-to-resident ratio in place. This puts many residents at risk falling ill, getting hurt or losing their lives.

One of the facilities that the regulators studied had a 2-to-1 staff-to-resident ratio when it was fully staffed. This was an anomaly though. Many facilities that the federal agency studied had persistent staffing fluctuations. Staff was most notably absent on weekends.

Nursing homes must combat malnutrition

Residents of nursing homes often rely heavily on the employees of the facility for help with their care. The need to have adequate nutrition is one that can't go unchecked. Nursing homes usually have a dietary services department that's responsible for ensuring that the offerings meet the needs of the residents.

Even though healthy foods might be plentiful for residents, there are times when the individuals need to have their intake monitored to ensure they're eating enough. There are several things that employees can do when a resident is thought to not be eating enough.

Planning a funeral is emotionally taxing

The loss of a loved one is a tragic occurrence, especially when the death was unexpected. While some people who have family members in a nursing home know that the person's passing is imminent, there are others who learn of a sudden death that was due to the actions of the nursing home staff. This brings up many emotions that might not be present in other cases.

One of the most difficult things you'll have to do in these cases is plan the funeral. Not only is this going to be costly, there's also the emotional toll that it will take. There are a few points you should remember when you're going through this process.

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