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

Albuquerque New Mexico Nursing Home Abuse Law Blog

Nursing home abuse through social media

The rise of social media has made way for good and bad developments. Unfortunately, one such development has been the increase in the abuse of elderly patients

To some, this notion may seem a bit farfetched. However, nursing home abuse through social media is real.

How often does nursing home abuse occur?

As your loved ones age, you may be in the position where you must put one of them in a nursing home in New Mexico. While most nursing facilities offer a safe and healthy place for residents where they get proper care and attention, some are not so good. Instances of abuse are unfortunately common in many nursing homes. However, the National Center on Elder Abuse explains that it is often difficult to pinpoint how often nusing home abuse occurs.

With a growing elderly population, nursing facitilites are becoming overcorwded and are in more demand. Combine that with the fact that reporting tools, laws and other mechanisms are not as developed as they should be, and the problem is one that is really not well understood. Many instances of abuse go unreported or are not reported properly. It makes it difficult to actually provide accurate statistics.

Nursing home residents who may wander

The prospect of your elderly loved one wandering around a New Mexico nursing home without supervision is a scary prospect, yet it has been known to occur. Some residents may meander inside the facility, while others may actually leave the building and wander outside. According to iAdvance Senior Care, there are a number of reasons why residents may decide to wander about without notifying a nurse or a caregiver, which in turn can put the wandering resident in danger.

Dementia patients are a prime candidate for wandering. They may experience a flash of memory and believe they are actually in their old pattern of life and decide to act upon it. For example, they may believe they are at work and that it is time to go home, so they may look around for the exit to the parking lot. They may also seek a loved one, such as a spouse, even though their wife or husband has been deceased for years. In some cases, a dementia sufferer may simply wander without an apparent reason at all.

Why is the death of an unborn child not wrongful death?

Wrongful death is when the negligence of a person or entity causes the death of another person. In New Mexico, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, there is one group that is not covered by state wrongful death laws: unborn children. Other states have specific laws regarding the death of an unborn child due to the negligence of someone else. These laws allow for punishment, but in New Mexico, no such laws exist. In fact, this is an area of some debate.

The issue is that some groups are concerned a charge of wrongful death of an unborn child could pose risks for abortion rights. Many states have sidestepped the issue to ensure the language in their laws makes it clear abortion is not considered murder or homicide, but some states, like New Mexico, have avoided the topic completely by not creating any laws pertaining to making the death of an unborn child illegal.

How do I report nursing home abuse?

If you suspect that your loved one is being abused in his or her nursing facility, you have rights in New Mexico to report this abuse and get it handled. Your loved one should not have to live in fear or in an abusive situation. However, you need to follow the guidelines to ensure the issue is reported properly.

According to the New Mexico Department of Health, when reporting nursing home abuse, you need to ensure you file your complaint under the correct relationship. If it is your loved one, then you would report as a family member. If your loved one can make his or her own report, then it would be under consumer. 

What is duty of care?

When you put your loved one in a nursing home in New Mexico, you have the right to expect a certain level of care. You have the right to expect that your loved one will be well-cared for and that his or her needs will be met. When this does not happen, it is often due to neglect or the professional caregivers and medical personnel at the nursing home neglecting their duty of care.

According to The National Law Review, duty of care is the responsibility a caregiver has towards a patient. So, any professional who is working in the nursing home is obligated to care for your loved one in a competent way. This also includes not denying care when it is needed.

What happens when nursing homes are understaffed

It is never easy to accept the fact that one of your parents may be better off living in an assisted living facility. Having full confidence in the facility you and your loved one choose can soften the blow, but regrettably, many American nursing homes and continuing care facilities fail to maintain adequate staff.

When nursing homes are understaffed and their workers are stretched too thin, the quality of care your loved one will receive is likely to suffer. 

Pulmonary embolisms can be fatal if misdiagnosed

The danger of blood clots in the body is that they can obstruct the flow of blood to a vital organ. For example, a resident in a New Mexico nursing home may be at risk of a blood clot if the person is bedridden and is not shifted frequently enough to allow for sufficient blood flow. Such blood clots may block the pulmonary arteries in the lungs. This kind of blood clot is called a pulmonary embolism. If not diagnosed correctly or in a timely manner, a PE can have dire consequences.

The Mayo Clinic says that while symptoms of pulmonary embolism are not always the same from person to person, there are still common symptoms and signs to look for. These include a sudden shortness of breath, which can be exacerbated by exertion. Afflicted individuals may also experience chest pain and believe it is a heart attack. This kind of chest pain can worsen if the person coughs, bends down, stoops, eats or breathes in deeply. Additionally, an afflicted person may cough up blood or sputum with blood streaks.

How can I protect my loved one when choosing a nursing home?

When an elderly loved one’s health progresses beyond your ability to be attentive and care for them, you might find yourself searching for a good assisted living facility in the Albuquerque area. One consideration that you should consider during your search is nursing home neglect and abuse. According to the AJC, for every 10 nursing home residents, one is likely to experience abuse. Keep in mind that many cases are not reported. 

It is important for you to understand the role you play in protecting your relative even when they are not in your care. Without your help, the neglect and harm they may experience can lead to a decline in their health and cause them to die. You do not want your elderly loved one to suffer, especially in an assisted living center where they should be safe. 

What taxes might you pay on a wrongful death judgement?

If you have been through a wrongful death lawsuit in New Mexico, you may not even think about the tax implications. This is a common error. You may be focused on the death of your loved one and resolving the lawsuit. However, the IRS is always focused on collecting taxes due. In some cases, you may have to pay taxes on money you receive as part of a court ruling or settlement in a wrongful death case.

The Nest explains that in most cases, the money won in a wrongful death judgment is not taxable. However, there are exceptions. It all depends on the type of damages you have been awarded.

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