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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. 

Many independent living facilities and nursing homes are having a challenging time meeting federal and local requirements. High turnovers, low pay, long hours and other factors are among the issues plaguing nursing homes. Abuse is not the only danger that nursing home residents face. According to Modern Healthcare, “infections, medication mistakes and falls are all preventable injuries that affected 22 percent of skilled-nursing home residents” in 2014. 

Anyone who is considering placing an elderly relative into a nursing home or skilled healthcare facility should thoroughly research their options and the latest United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) nursing home reports and studies before choosing a facility.


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