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  • Writer's pictureLeitner Varughese Warywoda

Nursing Home Negligence and Red Flags: Warning Signs to Consider

It can be difficult for the family members of nursing home residents to feel certain that there is something wrong at a facility, especially when there are no overt signs or issues. Given that there may be other explanations for some types of nursing home neglect injuries, family members and friends of seniors in facilities can feel unsure about whether or not to file a report or to raise concerns about the facility. Yet it is important to remember that any concerns you have about a nursing home should be taken seriously, and it is better to be safe than sorry. A recent U.S. News & World Report article identified key red flags at nursing homes, and our New York nursing home negligence attorneys want to highlight some of those red flags for you.

High Rate of COVID-19 Deaths

While nursing homes do have residents who are at greater risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19, facilities must still implement infection-control measures and take steps to reduce the likelihood of infections at the facility. At this point, high rates of COVID-19 deaths in comparison with other facilities could suggest problems at the facility, including issues with the facility’s infection-control measures, staff members and visitors being vaccinated and wearing masks, and other related concerns.

High Employee Turnover Rates

High turnover rates at any business should be a red flag, and nursing homes are no different in this respect. According to the article, high turnover rates at nursing homes and assisted living facilities could suggest underlying problems with the management of the facility, but at the very least, the high turnover rate most likely means a lower quality of care.

History of Complaints and Violations

While it might seem obvious, any history of negligence complaints or safety violations should serve as a warning about the facility. While injuries from nursing home abuse and neglect can occur at any facility—even a facility with a seemingly perfect history in terms of complaints and violations—previous complaints are a problem.

Unattended Patients

If you visit a nursing home in New York and notice that residents are not being properly attended to, you should do further research into potential understaffing problems at the facility. As the article explains, if nursing home residents are “pressing their call buttons or calling out and not getting a response,” or if there are “residents in wheelchairs lined up in hallways for long periods before and after meals and activities because there aren’t enough staff to take them back and forth,” the facility may be dangerously understaffed.

Odors or General Uncleanliness

Nursing homes should be clean and free from bad odors. The article emphasizes that odors suggesting poor cleaning practices in particular—such as odors of urine—are particular cause for concern. Patient rooms should also be clean, and signs of old food trays or unemptied garbage cans should serve as red flags.

Contact a Nursing Home Negligence Lawyer in New York

If you have a loved one in a nursing home and have concerns about safety, or if your loved one sustained injuries that you believe resulted from nursing home abuse or neglect, one of our experienced nursing home negligence lawyers in New York can help you with your case. Contact Leitner Varughese, PLLC to learn more.


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