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Nursing home neglect can be a serious issue

Adult children looking to put their parents into a New Mexico nursing home should be careful which facility they choose. According to a new study, they may have reason to worry about neglect in such a facility. The study, which was conducted by the New York Times and Kaiser Health News, found several issues that could put a resident's health in jeopardy.

For instance, some facilities involved in the research didn't have a registered nurse on staff for up to eight hours in a day. There was also a shortage of nursing aides, and they are the ones who help feed, bathe and otherwise care for residents. A lack of nursing aides could also increase the chances that a resident is subject to abuse and neglect. However, the issue of low staffing levels in nursing homes is not new.

Calls have been made for more nursing home staff since the passage of the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Act. Those who put family members into such a home should be on the lookout for sores or unexplained weight loss. These could be signs of neglect or abuse. A change in mood could be caused by a lack of both physical and emotional health services provided by a nursing home.

Seniors who experience malnutrition or other maladies while in a nursing home may be victims of neglect. The family members of a victim may pursue legal action. This could lead to compensation for medical bills and other costs. In some cases, punitive damages may be awarded to hold the facility responsible for its actions. An attorney may gather picture or video evidence to show that a person was physically or emotionally neglected by nursing home staff.

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