If your elderly parent or another older relative currently lives in a nursing home or assisted-living facility in New York, it is important to understand how nursing home abuse injuries occur and when it may be possible to file a claim. In short, New York law specifies that seniors in nursing homes have specific rights, including the right to be provided with safe surroundings and to be provided with quality care.
There are a wide variety of ways in which older adults sustain injuries in nursing homes, and the facility (and sometimes a particular staff member) often is liable for nursing home negligence. Sometimes injuries in a nursing home result from intentional mistreatment of a patient, and at other times they result from understaffing and passive neglect. These types of injuries can look quite different, and it is important to understand that any of them may be cause for filing a nursing home abuse lawsuit.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse Injuries and Their Symptoms
The National Council on Aging(NCOA) explains that “elder abuse” is a broad term that actually encompasses many different forms of abuse. WebMD describes each of these types of abuse and provides information about the common signs and symptoms of each:
● Physical abuse: This kind of abuse refers to actions that can result in both bodily and psychic harm, and may involve hitting, pushing, kicking, burning, or physically restraining a nursing home resident, or giving unprescribed medications to a nursing home resident for purposes of sedation. Common signs include cuts, bruises, burns, broken bones, or repeated injuries that cannot be explained by the patient’s medical file. A senior who is scared or refuses to see a doctor also may be suffering physical abuse.
● Sexual abuse: This type of nursing home abuse can occur at the hands of a staff member, a visitor, or even another patient or resident. Sexual abuse may involve sexual assault or even rape. Unexplained sexually transmitted infections, bruising or bleeding around the breasts or genitals, and torn clothing are common signs of this kind of nursing home abuse.
● Psychological abuse: Any behavior designed to harm a nursing home resident emotionally may be considered psychological abuse. For example, yelling at a patient, threatening a patient, or even intentionally ignoring a patient are all examples of psychological abuse. When a resident suffers psychological abuse, obvious symptoms may not exist, yet it is important for friends and family members to know the signs. If a nursing home resident appears withdrawn, scared, confused, depressed, or begins to change behavior in a way that is not explainable, psychological abuse could be the root cause.
● Neglect: Unlike other types of abuse, neglect does not have to be intentional. Neglect refers to a type of nursing home abuse in which a resident’s needs are not met. When a nursing home resident suffers from neglect, the patient may suffer preventable falls, may not have enough to eat or drink, and may develop bedsores.
Contact a New York Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
If you have concerns about an elderly loved one and believe his or her injuries may be the result of nursing home abuse, you should speak with a New York nursing home negligence lawyer about filing a claim. Contact Leitner Varughese, PLLC to learn more about your options and how to keep your elderly loved one safe.