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Albuquerque New Mexico Nursing Home Abuse Law Blog

Here is why you shouldn't get bed sores in a nursing home

When licensed care providers take care of you or your loved one in a New Mexico nursing home, you can expect them to offer quality care according to state laws and accepted safety and protocol standards. Perhaps, you are the adult child of an elderly parent who recently transitioned to a fully assisted living environment. You no doubt researched many facilities before choosing one that you and your family member believed was a good fit for your family's needs.

Regarding nursing home care, the topic of bed sores often arises. Those caring for your mother or father know how to help him or her avoid injuries. It is logical that you would be greatly concerned if you were to visit your loved one and notice that he or she is suffering from bed sores. Such situations warrant further investigation, to be sure. Sadly, many patients suffer injuries because of substandard care. That's why you should know how to protect your loved one's rights if a problem arises.

CSM update to Nursing Home Compare website creates ambiguity

New Mexico residents who are seeking a nursing home for an elderly loved one have probably gone on the Nursing Home Compare website. Back in October 2019, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services made a change to this website that some experts are saying is doing more harm than good.

In particular, the CMS has made it so that a red stop sign icon appears over any reviews of facilities that have received an abuse or neglect citation. Though it sounds helpful in that it warns readers about the quality of a given nursing care facility, it actually creates confusion and can make facilities look worse than they are.

Elder abuse on the rise as baby boomers age

New Mexico residents who have a senior loved one in a nursing home may worry about their well-being. Elder abuse occurs when a senior is emotionally, mentally, sexually or physically abused by a caregiver.

One case in North Carolina is particularly disturbing. A woman suspected that the nursing home, which housed her blind 86-year-old mother with Alzheimer's disease, was allowing abuse to occur by her caregivers. The daughter bought a picture frame that had a small hidden camera inside of it and placed it on her mother's counter. Within 24 hours of installing the camera, she recorded two instances of abuse.

Nursing home sued over sexual assault

Nursing homes and assisted living facilities in New Mexico and around the country are expected to do all they reasonably can to keep their patients and residents safe. That's why they can be held accountable in civil court when they fail to meet this standard of care. A nursing home in California was reminded of this on Dec. 16 when an elderly patient and her daughter filed a lawsuit seeking $50 million in damages.

The patient is suing because she was sexually assaulted on in October by a 48-year-old man who had recently been released from prison. The lawsuit claims that the nursing home was aware of a nearby transient and homeless population and acted negligently by leaving a back door open and not hiring enough staff to provide adequate security. The patient also accuses the facility of elder abuse.

Wrongful death lawsuits allege nursing home neglect

Many people in New Mexico are concerned about the care their loved ones will receive in a nursing home. There have been lots of reports of abuse and neglect at care facilities, and people may find it difficult to determine if a particular facility will be a safe place. Many elderly people living in nursing homes are vulnerable, may have memory issues and find it hard to advocate for themselves. This can be especially troubling if relatives are unable to frequently visit their loved one in the facility.

One Ohio nursing home is facing two separate wrongful death lawsuits filed within a month. Family members of two different women living at the home say that the residents did not receive proper medical treatment and died as a result. In one case, a woman living at the home for six years had a skin deteriorating condition. The lawsuit alleges that employees at the home failed to follow a care plan for her condition, leading her skin to become infected, which eventually led to her death from sepsis. In the other case, a woman living at the home developed pressure sores, often referred to as bedsores.

Disbelief common even in violent nursing home abuse case

The reasons keep emerging for New Mexico residents to maintain vigilance over the well-being of their loved ones in elder care settings. The details change somewhat with each new case of nursing home abuse, but the traumatic emotions felt by victims and the disbelief of many faced with these crimes are as common as to be considered universal.

In this case, a health care worker was arrested for physical abuse of a client in a nursing facility. The credibility of the charge was supported by both marks on the victim from the attack and another worker who heard and partly witnessed the assault. The co-worker, who first responded after hearing screams, missed the initial altercation but arrived in time to see accused aide twisting and grabbing the victim in sensitive areas. The victim presented a bloody nose and claimed to have been struck in the face.

Watch for signs of malnutrition in nursing home residents

If your New Mexico family had to place a loved one in a nursing home, you probably spent a significant amount of time researching facilities and trying to make the best choice possible. It takes a lot of trust to place a member of your family in the care of someone else, and it can be devastating when you learn that your loved one is not getting the care he or she deserves.

Nursing home abuse comes in many forms, and it is not always easy to determine exactly what is happening. You may suspect something is wrong, but you may not be able to put your finger on it. It may be beneficial to learn about signs that could indicate malnutrition, which is often an indication of nursing home abuse or neglect.

Nursing home abuse captured by cellphone video

No one wants to imagine their most vulnerable loved ones subject to abuse by supposed caregivers in New Mexico nursing homes, but chilling evidence from a new case serves to remind relatives of the need for vigilance. A video revealed remarks and actions by a caregiver that authorities saw as psychological abuse. A criminal case may be forthcoming, but the outcome for the patient and the facility as a whole was unclear.

The victim was admitted as a patient to the facility after a stroke diagnosis. The patient suffered some of the common symptoms of stroke, including muscle weakness and paralysis and difficulty communicating. Emotional diagnoses included anxiety and depression. The patient was, according to the Minnesota Department of Health, allegedly belittled with verbal abuse and a "slapping-type motion" made at the victim's face.

Drug audit at nursing home finds RN diluted patient's morphine

Nursing home residents in New Mexico rely on health care staff to provide them with correct doses of medication. A routine audit of medications at one facility, however, revealed a betrayal of this trust. The staff discovered that a bottle of liquid morphine sulfate had been diluted with saline solution and reduced to only a 14% concentration of what it was supposed to contain. A registered nurse appeared to be the source of the tampering, and the facility administrator reported the incident to authorities. Police subsequently arrested the man, who now faces a charge of tampering with a consumer product.

The morphine had been prescribed for a patient. Prosecutors said his actions placed another person at risk of injury and imposed physical pain. The RN's licensing record had not shown any previous reprimands and remains valid until June 2021. He is eligible to work as an RN in multiple states, but court documents show that he has been barred from working in health care settings as he waits for his trial. A judge also ordered that he disclose the criminal case to any current employers.

Family sues nursing home over rape allegations

New Mexico readers may be interested to learn that a Washington nursing home is being sued by the family of a disabled woman who was allegedly raped multiple times by one of the facility's employees. The crimes were captured by a hidden camera.

Earlier in 2019, the victim told her family that she was being sexually abused at the Foss Home and Village in North Seattle. As a result, her brother placed a hidden camera in her room and captured video of a nursing assistant raping her. The suspect, a 29-year-old male, was arrested and charged with second-degree rape. He remains in jail.

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