Nursing homes in New Mexico or elsewhere that mistreat patients in any way could be charged with negligence. This is generally true whether mistreatment is physical or emotional. For instance, if a resident's requests for treatment are ignored, it could lead to negative long-term consequences such as depression. There are several steps that a person can take to make sure that a loved one is not abused or neglected in a nursing home.
First, an individual should research facilities in the area and ask for referrals from friends, family or independent agencies. It is also a good idea to visit any facility that a loved one may live in. Ideally, an individual will not put an elderly family member in any facility that is dirty or otherwise looks incapable of meeting that person's needs. After a family member is admitted to a facility, it is important to make frequent visits.
These visits should be unannounced and come at various times of the day. It is also a good idea to develop relationships with staff members to make sure that a family member receives quality care. Regular visits are also beneficial to those living in a retirement or long-term care facility as it gives them something to look forward to.
If a nursing home fails to adequately care for its residents, it may be liable in a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. Residents or their family members may be able to collect compensation for medical bills and other costs related to improper care. Statements from staff, the residents themselves or other witnesses might be used to show that negligence occurred. Video or photographic evidence may also be used to show that a nursing home was negligent in failing to provide proper care.