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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.

Disbelief is a common response for New Mexico residents faced with the reality of nursing home abuse. No one wants to imagine that people who chose to work in health care would use their position to abuse weak and vulnerable clients in their care. It's no surprise then that the neighbor of the accused expressed disbelief in an interview as did relatives of another patient at the facility.

The victim, in this case, showed clear signs of physical trauma, but abuse is not always so visible or quickly responded to. Loved ones of elderly patients in New Mexico would do well to become familiar with the signs of psychological abuse, financial exploitation and other forms of abuse. An attorney with experience handling elder abuse cases may be able to help take a family's suspicions and evidence to the next level. Timely prosecution and compensation might stop abuse from re-occurring and provide the resources for recovery.

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