Nursing home care is a necessity for many New Yorkers. Their family members make the difficult decision to place their loved one in a facility expecting there to be a standard of care. In addition, they are functioning under the assumption that there will be sufficient oversight from state regulators to address issues as they come up and prevent residents. Unfortunately, abuse, mistreatment and negligence does happen. When there is evidence or suspicion that this has taken place, it is imperative to have help with ensuring the facility is held accountable.
During recent health crisis, nursing home complaints rose significantly
Since 2020 when people were unable to visit their loved ones in nursing homes due to the ongoing crisis, there was a major increase in complaints about residents being mistreated, subject to negligence or outright abuse. In total, there were nearly 36,000 such complaints. Upon investigation, 96% were categorized as unresolved or unsubstantiated. Still, even if a minor percentage were verified, that means many people have had problems in nursing homes.
The investigated complaints started in January 2020 and went through the second week in January 2022. Complaints had been flooding in so heavily that there was a vast backlog. Reporters spoke to people about their concerns. Anecdotally, people’s loved ones died, they say, because they were abused or neglected. Complaints to hotlines were ignored because state officials said there was so many that they could not respond to them in a timely manner.
Because of the allegations and lag time in them being investigated, there are calls for the process in which people complain and try to protect loved ones to be completely overhauled. Recently, an executive order from Gov. Kathy Hochul would enforce a law that facilities in the state have a minimum number of working staff. It also changed how nursing homes will spend money for care requiring 70% go toward patient care and 40% for staffing.
Having professional assistance may be key in a nursing home abuse case
People who discover their loved one has been subject to nursing home abuse will struggle with the emotional and personal response. Trusting others to handle a loved one’s care is hard enough without learning that those who were trusted were derelict in their duties. People could have gotten ill, suffered injuries, faced worsened conditions and even lost their lives. This information shows how prevalent the problem was. Even with the ability to visit loved ones again and keep a closer watch, these incidents can still occur. Consulting with experienced professionals can provide guidance with an investigation and a case.