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The 4 Most Common Types of Nursing Home Abuse


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Deciding to place a loved one in a nursing home can be an agonizing choice. Whether your loved one will have a short stay after surgery or is facing long term care, you want to be sure that the nursing home staff carefully follows medical regimens but also treats them with respect and kindness. You can help ensure that they are treated well by knowing the most common types of nursing home abuse and what you should watch for.

1. Pressure Injuries and Infections
Pressure injuries, or bedsores, happen when a patient remains too long in one position, causing damage to the skin and tissue. Bedsores can range from mild sores to open wounds and may cause severe damage to skin and bones. If your loved one develops frequent infections such as skin infections, urinary tract infections, and pneumonia, this can also be a sign of neglect.

2. Medication Errors
According to the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, nursing home residents suffer from more than 86,000 life-threatening medication mistakes every year. When caretakers provide the wrong medication, the wrong dosage, or give medication to the wrong patient, the results can often be fatal. Every nursing home should have a safety protocol in place to ensure residents’ safety.  

3. Wandering or Falls
When caretakers don’t correctly supervise patients, they can fall while trying to get out of bed or a wheelchair, or while trying to navigate without assistance. Patients with dementia or cognitive impairments can easily wander away from a facility with inadequate supervision and security as well.

4. Neglect, Dehydration, or Malnutrition
Nursing home neglect can be more challenging to pinpoint. But if nursing home staff don’t regularly bathe your loved one or if your loved one is losing weight, these may be signs of neglect. Nursing home residents often don’t have the same sense of hunger and thirst as they age. Water should always be available to residents, but caretakers should also encourage them to drink and eat at regular intervals.

If you suspect a nursing home is abusing or neglecting a patient, there are actions you can take. First, if you feel your loved one is in immediate danger, call the police. Otherwise, you can contact the New York Long Term Care Ombudsman’s Program. The Ombudsman’s Program investigates and resolves complaints made on behalf of nursing home residents. You can also contact the New York Department of Health by calling 888-201-4563. Of course, you can also contact a nursing home abuse attorney for help advocating for your loved one and navigating the reporting system. The experienced nursing home attorneys at Finkelstein & Partners, LLP, can hold neglectful facilities accountable for their wrongs.

Finkelstein & Partners, LLP
Choosing the right legal representation can have a substantial effect on the results of your nursing home claim. Since 1959 Finkelstein & Partners, LLP has been dedicated to helping those who have suffered a serious injury or unexpected death as a result of another’s negligence. Our attorneys have the resources and experience to fight tenaciously to obtain the compensation you deserve and need to get back to living a full life. We also understand that monetary compensation is not your only worry right now. Our attorneys and your dedicated support team will answer your questions and help you through every step of the process. Most important, we promise to treat each and every client with the individual attention and courtesy they deserve. For more than 60 years, we’ve delivered unsurpassed legal representation to people in and around the state of New York, including the Hudson Valley, New York City, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Maine.

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Hudson Valley Magazine editorial staff.