Anyone who witnesses or suspects abuse in an assisted living facility in New Mexico must know what to do when he or she finds him or herself in that unfortunately common situation. In order to protect your elderly loved ones, it’s necessary to learn the signs of abusive behavior and waste no time in reporting it immediately.
Protections for a vulnerable population
The elderly is among the most vulnerable populations. Those who live in long-term care facilities are often the most at risk of abuse because they may go longer without seeing a relative or anyone else to check in with — someone who may notice abuse. When you’ve witnessed or experienced abuse and reported it, it’s important to stay involved in the process even after the report has been filed to ensure that the case is thoroughly investigated and followed through.
When looking for signs of elder abuse, it’s helpful to pay attention to key details. Obvious signs, like bruises or injuries, should definitely be investigated. Falls do indeed happen in some cases more than others depending on the senior’s mobility level. But certain types of injuries that seem to have been potentially inflicted by caretakers are cause for investigation.
Less obvious signs may be food-related: its quality, not being fed enough at meals or not having three regular mealtimes every day. There may also be complaints about not being allowed certain freedoms, like leaving their room or having access to the bathroom.
Everyone has the right to protection against mistreatment, neglect and abuse, and the elderly need these protections more than most. Senior citizens living in assisted care facilities like nursing homes also have the right to be informed, essentially meaning that residents have the right to know their rights. Additionally, they have the right to officially report any accusations they may have against the staff be it due to mistreatment or any other form of elder abuse.
To protect the elderly, everyone should learn both the signs of abuse and know how to report it. An understanding of the rights of people who live in these long-term care facilities helps you be prepared if you ever see the signs of abuse.