Go to main navigation
969 Jericho Turnpike, St. James, NY 11780
FREE CONSULTATION - Call Our Firm Today 631-360-0400 631-263-3336 631-360-0400 631-263-3336

Spotting and Remediating Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

Elders are making up a larger and larger percentage of the U.S. population, which in turn is increasing the need for nursing homes and assisted-living facilities. Unfortunately, patients and residents at these institutions are vulnerable to mistreatment by their caregivers through abuse or neglect. Abuse can take many forms, including physical, emotional, sexual, and financial harm, while neglect involves the failure to provide necessary care, leading to harm or distress. 

Recognizing outward indicators of abuse or neglect is vital to safeguarding your loved ones’ health, safety and well-being. Here are six primary signs of nursing home mistreatment to watch for:

  1. Unsanitary living conditions — Residents may be exposed to health hazards due to poor hygiene practices, including dirty linens, soiled clothing and unclean facilities.
  2. Poor personal hygiene — If a resident appears unbathed, or has unkempt hair, overgrown nails or dental issues, it could indicate neglect.
  3. Unexplained physical issues — Bedsores, unexplained weight loss, dehydration or other medical problems can be signs of inadequate care or attention.
  4. Emotional withdrawal — Sudden changes in mood or behavior, such as becoming unusually withdrawn, agitated or depressed, may signal emotional neglect or abuse.
  5. Unattended medical needs — Failure to administer medications correctly, or ignoring necessary treatments, can severely impact a resident’s health.
  6. General neglect — This can include anything from staff ignoring a resident’s requests for assistance to failing to provide adequate nutrition and hydration.

If you suspect that your loved one is being abused or neglected in a nursing home in New York, there are steps you can take to address the situation. You can file a complaint with the New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH), which is responsible for investigating allegations of abuse and neglect in nursing homes. The department will respond with actions that may include unannounced inspections of the facility, interviews with staff and residents and a review of medical records and facility policies. If the investigation finds that the facility has violated state or federal regulations, the department can impose fines, require corrective actions and, in severe cases, revoke the facility’s license.

Additionally, you can file a lawsuit for damages. New York Public Health Law 2801-d allows a private cause of action by or in behalf of patients in residential health care facilities who are deprived of their rights or benefits as granted by law, regulations or contract. You can claim compensation for actual damages suffered by the resident, as well as punitive damages if the conduct was willful or reckless. The law also allows for recovery of attorney’s fees and costs. To pursue this remedy, you should retain a New York nursing home injury attorney.

The law firm of Jakubowski, Robertson, Maffei, Goldsmith & Tartaglia, LLP in St. James, New York is experienced in returning abused or neglected nursing home residents to safety and in pursuing compensation for injuries. To learn how we can help you, call us at 631-360-0400 or contact us online.