For most people in New Mexico, there is nothing that is a higher priority than family, and they would do anything they could to protect and care for their loved ones. Unfortunately, as people age, their care needs increase to the point that many families do not have the resources to provide appropriate, safe care. As such, families place their trust in the providers working at nursing homes. Because of this, many feel that it is necessary to fully understand the potential causes of nursing home abuse in addition to knowing how to appropriately respond if abuse occurs.
There are several different types of abuse that those living in nursing homes can suffer. They include emotional and physical abuse in addition to neglect, in which the victim does not receive appropriate care. Signs of abuse include bruises, a sudden change in mood, a decrease in personal hygiene and sudden weight loss, among others.
It is difficult to estimate exactly how many victims experience abuse when living in a nursing home. Many victims are unable to advocate for themselves. Some studies indicate many instances of abuse are under reported. Though there has been an increase in the number of reports made in recent years, it is difficult to know if there is an actual increase in cases or if more of them are being reported.
Obviously, the first priority of a family who suspects nursing home abuse is to protect their loved one, which could mean finding a more appropriate setting. Unfortunately, the effects of such abuse can be devastating, sometimes even resulting in a fatality. If victims, or victims’ families, choose to take legal action, they could not only receive a monetary award to help cope with these consequences but could also prevent others from suffering from similar treatment if the case is successfully presented. An attorney with experience with such cases can help these victims in New Mexico take the most appropriate action.