Nursing home abuse and negligence are serious matters that plague many residents. When you have a loved one who is in a facility, you likely want to keep an eye on them to ensure they get the care they need. When nursing homes have to prevent visitors from coming into the building, there is more room for these vulnerable residents to suffer harm at the hands of those who are supposed to care for them.
Many people in New Mexico move their elderly or disabled loved ones to a nursing home in hopes that they will receive skilled care that keeps them safe, especially if they are experiencing memory issues. However, these relatives may also worry deeply about their loved ones' treatment in a care facility, especially if they are unable to visit on a frequent basis. Nursing home residents may be particularly vulnerable to abuse or neglect, especially as they could have difficulty speaking about their experiences due to memory issues and other serious illnesses.
As baby boomers age, nursing homes in New Mexico and across the United States are reaching capacity. This may mean that many nursing homes are understaffed and that managers don't have the time to properly train staff. Experts believe that this may be the reason there has been an increase in elder abuse cases in nursing homes.
Many New Mexico families have elderly loved ones who are showing signs of physical and mental health deterioration. While some are able to have them treated at home, others are unable to and instead place them in nursing home facilities. Unfortunately, residents around the country are often the victims of elder abuse, and it can take many forms.
It is not uncommon for those in New Mexico nursing homes to experience physical, financial or emotional abuse. Examples of physical abuse could include hitting, slapping or pushing a resident. Examples of emotional abuse could include failing to provide relief from bedsores or isolating a person from their friends or family. Those who are asked to perform sexual acts or give staff members money against their will are also victims of abuse.
New Mexico residents who are seeking a nursing home for an elderly loved one have probably gone on the Nursing Home Compare website. Back in October 2019, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services made a change to this website that some experts are saying is doing more harm than good.
New Mexico residents who have a senior loved one in a nursing home may worry about their well-being. Elder abuse occurs when a senior is emotionally, mentally, sexually or physically abused by a caregiver.
Nursing homes and assisted living facilities in New Mexico and around the country are expected to do all they reasonably can to keep their patients and residents safe. That's why they can be held accountable in civil court when they fail to meet this standard of care. A nursing home in California was reminded of this on Dec. 16 when an elderly patient and her daughter filed a lawsuit seeking $50 million in damages.
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.
No one wants to imagine their most vulnerable loved ones subject to abuse by supposed caregivers in New Mexico nursing homes, but chilling evidence from a new case serves to remind relatives of the need for vigilance. A video revealed remarks and actions by a caregiver that authorities saw as psychological abuse. A criminal case may be forthcoming, but the outcome for the patient and the facility as a whole was unclear.