Anyone can report nursing home abuse, according to the New York Department of Public Health. Some of these parties can include:
- Residents (This is known as self-reporting.)
- Relatives of residents who suspect abuse
- Employees who suspect other workers of wrongdoing
There are many types of nursing home abuse and signs to look out for if your loved one is living in such a facility. If you suspect abuse, a lawyer from our firm can manage your case and protect your loved one’s rights.
Legal Options for Victims and Their Families
Nursing home abuse can result in medical bills and lasting psychological trauma. That is why victims and their families often pursue a personal injury or wrongful death case, in addition to reporting the abuse to the authorities.
It is important to note that you do not have unlimited time to file a lawsuit in New York State. NY CPLR § 214 gives you two years to file for personal injury, while NY EPT § 5-4.1 provides two years to bring a wrongful death case forward.
Pursuing Damages in a Nursing Home Abuse Case
The compensation you may receive in a nursing home abuse case could help cover the cost of your loved one’s medical bills and the cost of future care related to the abuse. Your recoverable damages can also take your family’s pain and suffering into account.
While you are not required to hire a lawyer, our law firm can do a lot to help you with your nursing home abuse case. An attorney from our team will:
- Gather evidence needed to build your case
- Name the liable parties
- Determine fair compensation
- Handle all communications for you
- File your lawsuit before the statute of limitations expires
- Advocate on your family’s behalf and fight for the best outcome
Examples of Nursing Home Abuse
Abuse can occur in a nursing home in a variety of ways. Examples of nursing home abuse include:
- Physical abuse, like shoving, slapping, or scratching
- Emotional or psychological abuse, including berating, ridiculing, and yelling at residents
- Sexual abuse, including improper touching
- Poor care and rough handling
Signs of Abuse in a Nursing Home
A nursing home resident that is experiencing abuse will usually show some signs. Look out for the following red flags:
- Personality changes: If your loved one is suddenly more withdrawn and less talkative, that could be a sign of abuse. They may also have mood swings.
- Unexplained and more frequent injuries: Injuries happen, especially to older people who may be on medications. Blood thinners, for example, can make it easier to bruise. However, if you notice frequent injuries that are hard to explain, that may be cause for alarm.
- Dehydration and malnourishment: Abuse in a nursing home can often come with neglect. A nursing home resident who is being abused may also not get the food and water they need. This can result in dehydration and malnutrition, potentially leading to other health problems for your loved one.
- Fear of employees: A resident who seems wary around nursing home staff may be a victim of abuse. If your loved one does not want to be around one of their caretakers and acts afraid of particular staff members, this could be a bad sign.
The nursing home itself could also offer some clues about potential abuse. If staff turnover is high or phones and call lights are going unanswered, these are red flags. These could indicate a number of staffing issues that can easily result in neglect and abuse.
The Importance of Reporting Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse can have devastating effects on residents, which is why you should report such behavior as soon as you recognize it. If your loved one is being abused in their nursing home, they may experience:
Mental Health Issues
Adjusting to life in a nursing home can already be daunting for a senior. Dealing with abuse on top of that can be terrible for their mental health. They may withdraw and stop participating in activities they once enjoyed. They may no longer socialize like they used to. This isolation, brought on by abuse, can affect their mental health and wellbeing.
In some cases, an injury caused by abuse can threaten your loved one’s life. A hip fracture, for example, can easily result in death for older adults, according to studies like this one from Acta Ortopédica Mexicana.
Physical abuse, like shoving, can lead to a fall that may cause a hip fracture or break. Similarly, malnutrition from inadequate care can result in a fall if the resident experiences weakness or a dizzy spell. Nursing home abuse is such a serious matter and needs to be reported.
Contact Our Law Firm for a Free Consultation
If your loved one has suffered from nursing home abuse, Morelli Law Firm is ready to help you explore your legal options. Call (212) 751-9800 to receive your free consultation today. We can also talk more about who can report nursing home abuse if you have any questions.