Common Nursing Home Ailments in New York
Nursing homes play a vital role in providing care and support to the elderly population in New York. As of 2022, in New York State there were approximately 600 nursing homes serving nearly 100,000 residents. The purpose of a nursing home is to provide specialized care and support to individuals who require assistance with their daily living activities and medical needs. Nursing homes, also known as skilled nursing facilities or long-term care facilities, cater to elderly individuals and others who may have chronic medical conditions, disabilities, or functional impairments that make it challenging for them to live independently or receive care at home. However, some facilities fall short in ensuring the safety and well-being of their residents, leading to various ailments caused by staff negligence and abuse. If you have been the victim of nursing home abuse, or if you suspect that your loved one’s ailments are a result of abuse or negligent, contact an experienced New York nursing home abuse lawyer at Stephen Bilkis & Associates. With over 20 years of experience successfully representing victims of abuse, neglect, and violence, we are here to help.Common Nursing Home Ailments in New York
Because of the age and complicated medical histories of many residents of nursing homes, illness is not uncommon. However, there are ailments that are many that are preventable and due to negligent care on the part of the nursing home staff. These ailments can be devastating to nursing home resident who are already vulnerable and medically frail.
- Pressure Ulcers (Bedsores): When residents are not properly turned and repositioned regularly, pressure ulcers may develop. These painful sores can lead to severe infections and complications if left untreated. According to the New York Department of Health, in 2015, 7.4% of nursing home residents in New York had bedsores.
- Malnutrition and Dehydration: Negligent staff may fail to provide residents with adequate food and fluids, leading to malnutrition and dehydration, which can have serious health consequences.
- Falls and Fall-Related Injuries: Falls are a leading cause of injuries in nursing homes, especially among residents with mobility challenges or those who require assistance with walking. Staff shortages and insufficient supervision can contribute to falls, leading to fractures, head injuries, and other physical impairments. Nursing home staff shortages have significant increased since 2020. In December 2022, The Journal News reported that approximately 75% of New York State’s 600 nursing homes were short-staffed, in violation of the state minimum staffing regulations.
- Medication Errors: Staff negligence may lead to medication errors, such as administering the wrong dose or medication, resulting in adverse reactions and potentially life-threatening situations.
- Infections and Communicable Diseases: Infections can quickly spread within nursing home environments due to close living quarters and communal spaces. Negligence in adhering to proper hygiene protocols, such as handwashing and equipment sterilization, can contribute to outbreaks of communicable diseases. Controlling infection risks is vital, especially considering the susceptibility of elderly residents to infections.
In cases where common nursing home ailments are suspected to be a result of negligence or abuse, it is crucial to seek legal counsel from an experienced New York nursing home abuse lawyer in order to hold negligent staff accountable for their actions.Laws Designed to Address Nursing Home Abuse and Protect Residents
To combat nursing home abuse and ensure the safety of residents, New York has enacted several laws. One such law is the Nursing Home Reform Act (NHRA), a federal mandate that sets standards for nursing home facilities participating in Medicare and Medicaid. It outlines the rights of residents and the responsibilities of the facilities, aiming to uphold high-quality care. Additionally, New York State has implemented the Nursing Home Residents' Bill of Rights, which guarantees certain protections for nursing home residents, including their right to dignity, respect, and appropriate care.
In an effort to promote swift intervention and investigations, New York also has Elder Abuse Reporting Requirements. These requirements compel individuals to report suspected elder abuse promptly, ensuring that any concerns are addressed and thoroughly investigated. This is especially crucial in nursing home settings, where elderly residents may face challenges in reporting abuse or may be hesitant to speak out due to fear or intimidation.
Families and residents should be aware of these laws to protect their loved ones. If you see any signs of abuse or neglect, it is critical to promptly contact an experienced New York nursing home abuse lawyer.What to Do if Abuse is Suspected
If you suspect that your loved one is suffering from an ailment due to nursing home abuse or neglect, it is crucial to take immediate and decisive action. The well-being and safety of your family member should be the top priority, and there are several essential steps to follow.
First and foremost, ensure that your loved one receives appropriate medical attention. If their health condition is urgent or life-threatening, seek medical care without delay. Document any visible injuries, changes in health, or signs of neglect that you observe. These records can serve as crucial evidence in any potential legal action.
To protect your loved one's rights and seek justice for the harm they have endured, contact an experienced nursing home abuse attorney in New York who can provide expert guidance on how to proceed with a potential legal claim and support you throughout the entire process.
Recoverable damages in nursing home abuse or neglect cases may include:
- Medical Expenses: Compensation for the cost of medical treatment and care required as a result of the abuse or neglect.
- Pain and Suffering: Damages to compensate for the physical and emotional pain endured by your loved one due to the mistreatment.
- Emotional Distress: Compensation for the psychological trauma and emotional suffering caused by the abuse or neglect.
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life: Damages to account for the diminished quality of life experienced by your loved one due to the abuse or neglect.
- Punitive Damages: In cases of egregious misconduct or intentional harm, punitive damages may be awarded to punish the nursing home for their actions and deter similar behavior in the future.
- Wrongful Death Damages: In the tragic event that the nursing home abuse or neglect leads to the death of your loved one, you may be entitled to compensation for wrongful death, including funeral expenses and loss of companionship.
By consulting with a skilled nursing home abuse attorney in New York, you can pursue the justice and compensation your loved one deserves while holding the nursing home accountable for their actions.Contact Stephen Bilkis & Associates
The safety and well-being of nursing home residents in New York should always be a top priority. Ailments caused by staff negligence can have devastating consequences for vulnerable residents. Families must remain vigilant, report any signs of abuse, and seek legal assistance to protect their loved ones' rights. If you suspect that your loved one suffered a serious injury due to nursing home abuse or negligence, do not hesitate to contact an experienced nursing home abuse attorney serving New York at Stephen Bilkis & Associates. We can provide essential guidance and support in navigating the legal process, holding negligent parties accountable, and pursuing rightful compensation for your loved one. Contact us at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your case. We represent clients in the following locations: Brooklyn, Long Island, Queens, Manhattan, Nassau County, Staten Island, Suffolk County, Bronx, and Westchester County.