Elderly New Mexico residents who live in a for-profit nursing home are nearly twice as likely to suffer health problems caused by poor care as those who live in nonprofit facilities, according to a study published recently in the medical journal Gerontology. The researchers say that many of their discoveries were consistent with severe clinical neglect. They included stage 3 and 4 bed sores, damaged feeding tubes and broken catheters.
Families in New Mexico place their elderly loved ones in nursing homes with the expectation that residents will receive compassionate care. Unfortunately, abuse of residents is widespread in regards to dosing people inappropriately with antipsychotic drugs according to a report from Human Rights Watch. The practice is especially widespread among people with dementia despite a strong Food and Drug Administration warning against the practice. The drugs act as chemical restraints to subdue people that nursing home employees find difficult to manage.
New Mexico residents who rely on nursing homes to care for elderly loved ones may be interested to learn that, in some states, the majority of elder abuse allegations are not investigated. For example, in 2016, 97 percent of abuse allegations made in state-licensed senior facilities in Minnesota were not ever investigated. Hidden cameras may help address the problem; however, there are privacy and compliance concerns that often go along with this type of technology.