The victims of nursing home abuse or neglect are some of the most vulnerable populations, the elderly. While nursing homes and assisted living facilities should be where elderly and disabled family members go to enjoy life in comfort and safety, this is not always the case. Many nursing homes are owned and operated by companies or individuals whose motivation is to make a profit, which does not necessarily go hand in hand with meeting the needs of the residents. Facilities could be staffed with individuals who do not have the proper training or are not concerned with the best interests of the residents.
Due to the motivations of the owners and managers of nursing homes, they may actively try to cover up nursing home abuse and neglect, as the owners and managers of one Herkimer County nursing home were accused of in May. The nursing home officials have been accused of covering up two incidents of neglect or abuse during May 2013. These incidents involved a serious medication error which went unnoticed for several days and an incident involving a resident who was suffering from dementia engaging in sexual conduct towards another resident while in an unsupervised dining room.
When the incidents were brought to light, one owner eavesdropped on Attorney General investigators while they were conducting an interview with an employee of the nursing home regarding the incidents. In addition, a part owner as well as other nursing home officials destroyed electronic evidence of the incidents.
Unfortunately, it can be difficult for elderly loved ones to express nursing home neglect or abuse. However, there are signs family members can look for that indicate that their loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect. These signs include:
- Unexplained accidents or injuries,
- Extreme changes in the condition of a loved one over a short period of time,
- Signs of dehydration or malnutrition,
- Bed sores,
- Failure to meet daily living needs,
- Unclean conditions,
- Slip and fall accidents,
- Wrongful death, and
- Other signs that a loved one suffering either physically or mentally.
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