Elder Abuse Attorneys in New York
ASSISTED LIVING FACILITIES
Improper care, abuse or errors at an assisted living facility may result in broken hips or other bones, bed sores or decubitus ulcers, malnutrition, or other serious illness or injury. The failures in the care and treatment of our parents, grandparents and loved ones is a troubling problem. There is no excuse for a assisted living facility not to provide the care and attention that they promised when they agreed to care for our loved one. It is the responsibility of nursing home administrators to conduct thorough background checks on who they hire.
In October 2009, an upstate Appellate Court has ruled that employer of workers at the Cortland County Nursing Home, may be held criminally liable following the conviction of five health-care workers for failing to provide care to a patient in a persistent vegetative state and stating in company records that the care had been provided. At issue was whether a limited liability company, as opposed to a corporation, could be held criminally liable under New York law for acts of its employees committed within the scope of their employment. The charges against the Northwoods Rehabilitation and Extended Care Facility and its five employees stemmed from an investigation by the New York Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, which used video surveillance in the room of one of the facility's residents. The recordings showed at least five health-care workers failing to provide necessary services to a "total-care" patient. The workers then falsified charts, claiming to have done the work.
Since assisted living abuse is perpetrated by trusted authority figures, victims are often intimidated or unwilling to report it. According to estimates made by the National Center on Elder Abuse, for every one case of elder abuse, neglect, or exploitation reported to the authorities, five more incidents go unreported. For this reason, it is imperative that loved ones are familiar with the signs of abuse.
Indications of assisted living abuse and neglect include:
- Fractured bones
- Unexplained falls
- Development of bed sores and ulcerated skin
- Excessive weight loss
- Open wounds, cuts, bruises, or welts
- Injuries resulting from restraint or lack of restraint
- Unexplained or unexpected death
Report Assisted Living Abuse:
If you suspect that you or a family member is the victim of assisted living abuse, it is important to immediately document and report the problem. Your report should include:
- The victim’s name, age, and address
- The name of the facility and the person (or people) responsible for the victim’s care
- The name of the person(s) who abused or neglected the victim
- The nature and extent of the victim’s injuries, or physical signs of abuse or neglect
- The time, date, and location of the incident.
- This report should be dated and include a description of any previous incidents.
A group home can be a option to address the specific living needs of patients who don't have the full physical or mental ability to live on their own, but do not require the acute care of a home. They can offer independence as well as structure and supervision that such an individual would be unable to maintain on his or her own. In these circumstances, accidents and abuse can still occur. Because many residents of group homes possess some degree of mental deficiency, recognizing abuse can be difficult.
Sometimes, When group home staff members must restrain residents, they are obligated to do so in a safe manner. When they fail to meet established standards, helpless special needs residents can be injured and killed.
Visiting Nurses and Other in Home care providers are responsible to provide the same level of services that the patient expects and is entitled to if they were being treated in a "in patient" facility. In fact, the "in home" care provider, working alone, must provide greater care and closer detail to treatment and diagnosis. The "in home" patient does not have the advantage of the team of medical providers and specialists one would find at a Hospital. Nutrition, respiratory care, physical therapy, and other modalities must be monitored. If the patient is showing changes in their health and condition, it is the responsibility of the home care provider to bring it to the attention of the family and the patients doctors so that treatment plans can be changed.
Visiting Nurses also must follow the standard of care in performing daily nursing tasks such as catheterization, IV administration and other nursing protocols.
Physical, Occupational, and other therapists must also be acutely aware of patients needs when working outside the clinical environment of a hospital and Rehabilitation Center. They must take caution to prevent falls, infections and other problems they may encounter outside the hospital or facility environment.
If you are ready to discuss your case with one of our attorneys at Flanzig & Flanzig, LLP, call us for a consultation at (866) 352-6944.
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