Protecting the most vulnerable patients from neglect and negligence
Nursing homes offer 24-hour protection and care for elderly residents who can no longer handle day-to-day tasks on their own. Unfortunately, an understaffed and inadequately equipped long-term care facility may instead be an unhealthy, unsafe institution where your loved one is at risk of injury or illness.
With 37 years of experience,Revo Smith Law stands up for the rights of vulnerable nursing home residents. If you discover that your loved one has suffered abuse, our malpractice attorneys guide you and your family in the pursuit of justice against the negligent nursing home.
Types of elder abuse
Long-term care facilities — including nursing homes, assisted living facilities and adult day cares — are governed by New Mexico and federal statutes. Your loved one may have a cause of action against the nursing home if staff, doctors, nurses or administrators violate laws regarding:
Physical abuse — Pushing, grabbing, hitting or placing restraints on residents is considered physical abuse.
Neglect of residents’ needs — Neglecting to bathe, feed or assist patients with activities of daily living is abusive. Neglect can result in poor hygiene, inadequate medical care, falls, malnutrition and dehydration.
Sexual assault — Staff or other residents may include sex offenders in the nursing home environment. Sexual assault may involve inappropriate touching or rape.
False imprisonment — Assisted living facilities are required to give residents their privacy, freedom of movement and access to friends, family and outside social services. False imprisonment occurs when staff deny these basic rights or restrains patients to their beds.
Emotional abuse — Residents have the right to be treated with dignity and respect. Screaming, degrading or humiliating seniors is emotionally abusive conduct.
Financial exploitation — Fraudsters often target vulnerable seniors. Fake religious leaders, fraudulent financial advisers, opportunistic nursing home staff and even greedy family members may engage in financial exploitation.
Signs of abuse in your family member’s long-term care facility
Elderly nursing home patients may not report abuse because of fear, embarrassment or inability to communicate. For this reason, you can help your loved one by remaining vigilant about detecting signs of abuse, such as:
- Undiagnosed medical condition
- Uncontrolled infection
- Overmedicated state
- Poor hygiene
- Soiled bedding and clothing
- Dirty and unsterile conditions in the facility
- Unexplained bruises, fractures and lacerations
- Dehydration or malnutrition
- Financial problems
- Detachment, anxiety or depression
What you should do if you suspect abuse of your loved one
If your loved one is in immediate physical danger or a crime has been committed, call 911. You can also report elder abuse to the New Mexico Department of Health Adult Protective Services.
Our priority is getting your loved one to a safe place. We help you protect your family member from further abuse and obtain appropriate medical attention and care. Our personal injury attorneys then assist you in recovering compensation from the abusive facility.