When you entrust a nursing home to care for your elderly parent or other relative, you have a right to expect that your loved one will be treated with respect and watched over by a team of professionals. Unfortunately, that is not always the case. Nursing home abuse and neglect is all too common throughout New York and across the United States, and the victims are some of our country’s most vulnerable. This abuse and neglect can take many forms, all of which are disturbing in their own right, and can lead to the declining health and even death of your loved one.
If you suspect your elderly parent or loved one has suffered nursing home abuse or neglect, contact a New York nursing home abuse lawyer at Belluck & Fox today. Residents of nursing homes deserve to have their health and well-being protected, and when their lives are put at risk due to abuse or neglect, their families have the right to pursue compensation on their behalf. Remember, when you make the decision to take a stand for your loved one, you may end up protecting others from suffering, as well.
Signs of Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse
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No one wants to imagine that someone could hurt their elderly parent, or allow them to be hurt, but it does happen. The U.S. Administration on Aging lists the following as potential warning signs of elder abuse:
- Bruises, pressure marks, broken bones, abrasions or burns
- Unexplained withdrawal from normal activities, a sudden change in alertness or unusual depression
- Bedsores, unattended medical needs, poor hygiene or weight loss
- Strained or tense relationships, frequent arguments between the caregiver and elderly person
The Administration on Aging advises that the most important thing you can do for your elderly loved one is to be alert and start asking questions if you suspect nursing home abuse or neglect.
Contact the New York nursing home abuse lawyers at Belluck & Fox today if you are concerned for the health and safety of your loved one. We stand up for nursing home abuse victims and advocate for those who are not able to advocate for themselves.
How to Report Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect in New York
If you suspect your loved one is being abused or neglected in a New York nursing home, take action immediately. There are two ways to report nursing home abuse or neglect in New York:
- Online: You can submit your complaint online to the New York State Department of Health. You will need to have the facility’s address and your loved one’s room number handy.
- By Phone: You can also call the Nursing Home Complaint hotline at 1-888-201-4563 to report abuse or neglect. The hotline is answered from 8:30 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Monday through Friday, but you can call anytime to leave a voicemail message reporting abuse.
What to expect after you file a report: Once you make a complaint about a nursing home, the New York State Department of Health will review it and decide how to proceed. Investigators may conduct interviews, go over medical records and review other documents from the nursing home, and visit the facility. If an investigation reveals the nursing home violated or does not meet federal and/or state regulations, the Department of Health will issue a citation. In response, the nursing home is required to submit a plan of corrective action that is acceptable to the Department of Health. The nursing home then must act on the plan and correct whatever problem led to the violation.
This process can seem painfully slow when you feel your loved one’s life is at risk. That’s why we recommend talking to a New York nursing home abuse lawyer at Belluck & Fox as soon as you suspect your loved one has been abused or neglected. We will help you through this complicated process.
Legal Options for New York Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Victims
If you are fighting to protect the rights and safety of your elderly parent or loved one, please know that you do not have to go it alone. The New York nursing home abuse lawyers at Belluck & Fox will support you and your family through this difficult time. We can help you file the complaint with the state and advocate for your loved one’s rights during the investigation.
Common types of complaints include:
- Accidents leading to injury
- Changes in your loved one’s condition that were not addressed in a timely manner
- Problems with admission and discharge
- Housekeeping and maintenance issues
- Improper supervision of staff
- Incorrect administration of medicine
In addition to helping with your state claim, our attorneys can pursue justice for your loved one by filing a personal injury lawsuit seeking compensation for pain and suffering as well as medical expenses that resulted from the nursing home abuse or neglect.
If you have experienced the most tragic of cases, where your parent or loved one has died due to nursing home abuse or neglect, our hearts are with you in this extremely difficult and stressful time. The compassionate attorneys at Belluck & Fox will do anything we can to take the burden off of you, including filing a wrongful death claim to seek compensation for funeral and burial expenses.
At Belluck & Fox, our New York nursing home abuse lawyers are dedicated to fighting for families who are trying to protect their most vulnerable relatives. We will go over all your options for pursuing justice, including identifying any parties who could be at fault for your loved one’s abuse — this could be a nurse, staff member, administrator, the nursing home facility itself or even the company that owns it.
Nursing Home Regulations in New York
In New York, the Department of Health oversees and investigates reports of nursing home abuse and neglect. The Patient Abuse Reporting Law, which aims to protect those living in nursing homes, requires every nursing home employee and all licensed professionals, even those who are not employed by the nursing home, to report alleged abuse, neglect or mistreatment. The Department of Health is required to investigate these allegations and administer sanctions against those found guilty and those who fail to report abuse, neglect or mistreatment.
Nursing Home Residents’ Rights
In New York state, the Department of Health clearly outlines the rights of nursing home residents. Your loved one has the right to:
- Dignity, respect and a comfortable living environment
- Quality care and treatment without discrimination
- Freedom to make independent decisions
- The safeguard of property and money
- Safeguards in admission, transfer and discharge
- Privacy in communications
- Participation in organizations and activities of their choosing
- An easy-to-use and responsive complaint procedure
- Exercise all of their rights without fear of reprisals
Unfortunately, in many cases, your loved one may not be able to express to you that his or her rights have been violated in the nursing home. That’s why you have to be vigilant in looking for signs of abuse or neglect and be proactive in reporting anything suspicious. In the end, your willingness to take action may save not only your loved one’s life, but the lives of others who may be suffering from the same type of abuse or neglect.
Our Promise to You
We will provide a strong voice for anyone who has suffered abuse or neglect at the hands of a nursing home. We are just as outraged and disgusted as you are when we learn about the atrocities committed against vulnerable nursing home victims. And we will take swift action to advocate for the safety of the victim and to fight for compensation for what you and your family have gone through.
Contact the New York nursing home abuse attorneys at Belluck & Fox today for a free consultation on your case. We will provide you with fast, personalized and professional legal representation. Fill out our online contact form now or give us a call.
Administration of Aging: What Is Elder Abuse?
New York Department of Health: Your Rights as a Nursing Home Resident in New York State and Nursing Home Responsibilities
New York Department of Health: Nursing Home Complaint Form
New York Department of Health: Complaints About Nursing Home Care