Can You Protect Your Loved Ones From Nursing Home Abuse?

Posted by PKSD New Mexico Law Firm on June 17, 2024 in Nursing Home Abuse

Elderly woman in nursing home covering her face with her hands.When aging parents or other elderly family members or loved ones are no longer able to care for themselves, many of us look to long-term care for help. While many facilities claim to have a wonderful lifestyle with high quality care, the news often reminds us that sometimes things go wrong. The last thing we want is for our loved ones to be harmed by nursing home abuse, but what can we do to protect them?

At PKSD in New Mexico, we have a team of knowledgeable nursing home abuse attorneys in Santa Fe who advocate for injured residents every day. While there is no foolproof way to protect anyone, there are many steps you can take to reduce the risk of nursing home abuse.

Do you suspect a loved one has been injured by nursing home abuse? If so, please call our law offices today. We have built a solid reputation as being a law firm victims and their families can trust. Our highly qualified legal team is ready to fight for the justice and compensation you deserve.

Request your FREE case review today. 505-677-7777

How Can I Tell if a Nursing Home Facility Is Safe?

You cannot be 100 percent sure about any long-term care facility and nothing can fully guarantee your loved one’s safety. However, taking these steps can greatly help reduce the risk of your loved one becoming a victim of nursing home abuse.

Research Facilities in Your Area and Create a Shortlist

Research may take some time, but this is a critical step you should not skip. We recommend checking out what facilities are close by. Not only does this make it easier to get to the facility if your loved one needs help, but it also means you can visit more often.

Here is an overly simplified approach to research facilities near you:

  • Search online for nursing home facilities that have more positive reviews than negative ones.
  • Talk to local friends, doctors and others who may be able to recommend some facilities.
  • Create a short list from this initial research and number them according to your preference.
  • Review the inspection and quality ratings provided by federal and state regulatory agencies.
  • Sift out the facilities with a significant prior history of abuse and other serious violations.

Plan to Visit and Screen the Facilities on Your Short List

Once you create a short list of facilities, it is a good idea to plan to visit them all. What you see during a visit may reveal much more about the actual facility than you will ever see in an online ad. Be sure to take the scenic route at each facility. Be alert as you go through the various common gathering areas, watching for the following:

  • Do residents look clean and well cared for or do they look disheveled?
  • How do the common areas look – are they clean and uncluttered?
  • Is there torn carpeting or other tripping hazards in walkways or common areas?
  • What does the kitchen look like – is it clean, do you see food lying out uncovered?
  • Watch for interactions between staff and residents – do residents seem relaxed around them? Do you see any staff being rough or talking harshly to the residents?
  • Be sure to address facility administrators with any questions you may have to see how they respond. That is the best response you will ever get from them.

Visit Your Loved One Often

Even after you select a facility and move your loved one in, there is more work to be done. One of the most important things you can do is visit your loved one often. Not only does this help to keep his or her spirits up, but it also helps you to catch potential problems more quickly. Try to come at different times of the day. Avoid sticking to a schedule or always visiting at the same time.

Take a good look at your loved one whenever you visit. Do they look clean? Are their bed sheets and clothing clean? Check to see if they have any unexplained injuries or bed sores. If your loved one is able to communicate, ask them about their meals and bathing schedule. Find out if they are having to wait for hours after calling for help or if the staff caring for them respond promptly.

New Mexico permits families to install granny cams in nursing homes. There are a few guidelines you need to follow, of course, but surveillance cameras provide peace of mind when you cannot be there.

Learn the Signs and Symptoms of Nursing Home Abuse

Nursing home abuse manifests in many ways. Recognizing the signs and symptoms of different types of abuse helps to ensure your loved one’s safety. Here are some key signs and symptoms to watch for:

  • Physical Abuse: Unexplained bruises, cuts, broken bones or burns.
  • Emotional or Psychological Abuse: Withdrawal from activities, exhibiting depression or anxiety.
  • Sexual Abuse: Bruised genital areas, unexplained STDs, UTIs, bloody sheets or torn clothing.
  • Neglect: Poor hygiene, disheveled, bedsores, weight loss, malnutrition and dehydration.
  • Financial Abuse: Unexplained financial transactions, missing belongings.
  • Verbal Abuse: Anxiety, low self-esteem, fearfulness.
  • Behavioral Changes: Sudden aggression, withdrawal or atypical personality changes.
  • Isolation: Increased depression due to isolation and loneliness.
  • Poor Living Conditions: Dirty, unkempt living areas; deterioration in health and well-being.
  • Medical Neglect: Worsening medical conditions, frequent hospital visits.

Need To Speak to a Lawyer About Nursing Home Abuse in Santa Fe?

At PKSD NM, we have a deep commitment to elderly residents living in nursing homes. Your loved ones deserve to live their final years in peace and with dignity. They should not suffer the physical and emotional trauma of nursing home abuse.

Call our law offices to request a free case review today. If we find you have a case, there are no upfront costs to hire our services. We take nursing home abuse cases on contingency, so we only get paid for our services if we are successful in recovering compensation through a negotiated settlement or jury-awarded verdict.

Filing deadlines apply, so be sure to call an attorney sooner than later.

Millions Recovered. Proven Results. 505-677-7777

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