Nursing Home Abuse in New York
UPDATED: July 23, 2012
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The elderly population already constitutes over 13 % of the national population, and its numbers are growing with every year as improved medical care leads to longer lives. With more and more elderly individuals in nursing homes, there has been an unfortunate rise in the number of cases of nursing home abuse. New York is no exception. Elderly nursing home residents may fall prey to a number of abusive situations, including sexual, physical, financial or emotional abuse, even though they are protected by federal laws, Medicare and Medicaid, and New York state regulations. And according to the New York state attorney general, up to 25 % of nursing home staffs have prior criminal records.
Rights of New York Nursing Home Residents
No matter how alarming these statistics, nursing home residents do have rights. Federal law requires every nursing home to make statements of residents’ rights available to residents and their families. These basic rights include the right to adequate care, freedom from abuse and restraint, and privacy. Nursing home residents in New York are protected from nursing home abuse by state and federal laws. They have an advocate in the New York State Protective Services for Adults Program and their state Nursing Home Ombudsman. Aside from these avenues of complaint and restitution, residents subject to New York nursing home abuse can also file civil complaints in some circumstances.
Before You Choose Long-Term Care
If you are placing an elderly relative in long-term care, it’s important to know what paperwork is being signed. Unfortunately, some homes try to make elderly residents sign away their rights to litigation, instead tying them into binding arbitration that does not sufficiently protect their rights. In addition, some facilities try to obtain a power of attorney from their residents, placing residents at financial risk. If you’re uncertain about the paperwork you’re being given by a potential nursing home, don’t sign it. Instead, bring it to a New York nursing home attorney for review.
If You Suspect New York Nursing Home Abuse
If you suspect abuse in a New York nursing home, including neglect or financial exploitation, contact an experienced New York nursing home abuse lawyer immediately. Your New York nursing home attorney can help navigate the legal system, including filing a lawsuit that seeks compensation for injuries and other damages.