When loved ones can no longer care for themselves, New Mexico residents have to make tough decisions. Providing that care personally or through an in-home service is often not affordable or feasible. This leaves only one option for many: a facility for long-term care. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse is a reality, and family members need to take steps to prevent it and recognize the signs.
Families with seriously disabled children sometimes need to place them in group homes in New Mexico. A lawsuit against a large for-profit company that operates group homes for severely disabled minors highlights the worst fears of families who need these services.
Nursing homes in New Mexico and throughout the country don't always live up to the standards that are expected of them. Therefore, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, or CMS, has created the Special Focus Facility program. There are currently 88 slots available in the program, but CMS says that nearly 400 facilities could benefit from being a part of it. After this was revealed in a Senate report, CMS agreed that it would release the list to the public.
It is not uncommon to hear stories of nursing home residents being abused by staff members. Roughly 10% of Americans over age 60 have been subject to physical, financial or other forms of elderly abuse. One possible way to protect nursing home residents in New Mexico and elsewhere is to use cameras to record interactions between them and staff members. While it may give loved ones peace of mind that their relatives are safe, security cameras may also present legal and ethical dilemmas.
New Mexico residents may be concerned with the health and welfare of their elderly relatives, especially if they are being cared for in nursing homes. Reports of nursing home neglect/abuse have been publicized in many media reports. One Connecticut study indicates that elder abuse incidents in the state rose significantly between 2011 and 2017. While there were 11,123 reported elder abuse cases in 2017, there were only 3,529 in 2011. Of those, the state opened an investigation into 7,196 reports.
Many people living in New Mexico have loved ones living in nursing homes. Because the elderly are often quite vulnerable, a high level of trust must exist between nursing homes, their residents and the residents' families. Sadly, that trust can be breached, and it appears as though breaches of trust are more likely to occur in for-profit nursing homes.
The staff at New Mexico nursing homes have an obligation to provide quality care. Unfortunately, this doesn't always happen. Those who have placed there loved ones in a nursing home or similar facility may be able to find clues that abuse is taking place. For instance, an individual may be sleepy or confused because of a bad reaction to a medication.
Those who have to put loved ones in nursing homes in New Mexico and throughout the country may go through an emotionally draining experience. It is easy to doubt whether a parent or grandparent is getting the care that he or she needs. A study from the New York Times and Kaiser Health News reveals that those misgivings aren't just the result of an overactive imagination.
Unfortunately, some nursing home patients in New Mexico get hurt or suffer from negligent care providers. In some cases, it's difficult to find out about negligence or abuse because the patients have dementia or similar issues. One way to keep tabs on a loved one in a care facility is to put a camera in his or her room.
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.