During these times, it has never been more important to be with family. However, this has been largely impossible for those in New Mexico with family members in nursing homes. But, a New Mexico judge just ruled that these nursing home visit bans cannot be enforced.

The case

Prior to the ruling the New Mexico Health Department enacted a provision in March that allowed nursing homes to craft rules to ban visitors. However, State District Judge Matthew Wilson ordered Monday that this NMHD must be rescinded. The judge found that the loss of familial association for even minimal amounts of time constitutes irreparable injury.

The relationship

The man who sued is a 78-year-old husband with a wife in a nursing home. He was barred from visiting her by the nursing home. The man’s 80-year-old wife is living in a memory care unit of a nursing home due to dementia. However, the nursing home banned the man from visiting his wife in-person based on NMHD’s new rule.

Prior to this ruling though, he would visit with his wife daily, sometimes, twice a day. He would help with care, companionship, feeding and oversight to ensure his wife’s quality of life.

The takeaway

This case shows that nursing home abuse and neglect can take many forms. It also shows that courts, including those in Albuquerque, New Mexico, can help when one suspects abuse and neglect is occurring to loved ones in nursing homes. But, one needs to contact an attorney immediately to help stop the abuse and neglect.