Families who have loved ones in a nursing home in New Mexico may be concerned about their well-being. This is not a silly concern either with nursing home abuse being a serious issue. However, as ABC News reports, many times when nursing home abuse reports are made, investigations find they are not severe enough to be considered actual harm even though families would not be so quick to dismiss the incidents.
This is disturbing, but it may also relate to the fact that every single incident regardless of the situation must be reported. This could include residents who get into altercations, which has nothing to do with the actual care provided by the institution. Even so, there are thousands of cases of actual abuse documented each year, which is a highly disturbing number.
National Public Radio noted that about a quarter of all cases of abuse in nursing homes are not even reported to law enforcement. There are federal and state laws that require serious incidents to be reported to law enforcement, sometimes within two hours, but nursing homes are not following the law. In some cases, they may be disposing of evidence and trying to cover up what really happened.
Investigators are trying to discover cases of unreported abuse through talking to families. In many cases, families become aware something happened and will immediately go to law enforcement. In other cases, this may not happen, but investigators urge families to come forward. In addition, law enforcement is relying on emergency departments to report suspected abuse cases.