Giving up one's freedom to live on their own home is not the same as giving up one's rights to be treated with dignity and respect. Often, though, when New Mexico residents are moved into nursing and care facilities they are subjected to mistreatment and neglect that may amount to abuse. Nursing home residents do not deserve the maltreatment that they too often receive and have rights that they may enforce when neglect and abuse cause them harm.
Elder abuse is a problem that plagues many of our nation's older residents. It can occur between members of a family and it can also occur between care givers and their older charges. In New Mexico and communities all throughout the United States senior citizens face serious threats to their physical, mental and financial health when they put their trust in nursing homes and other facilities that purport to provide them with adequate care.
One of the main reasons that an Albuquerque family may consider moving a loved one into a long-term care or nursing home facility is to make sure that the impacted loved one is having all of their daily needs met. When a person can no longer cook their own meals, see to their own grooming or provide their own transportation it may signal to a family that they need to take proactive steps to keep their loved one safe. For many, nursing homes provide a level of security and peace of mind for those who would otherwise worry about the well-being of their relatives.
The American population is aging. With advances in modern medicine and more initiatives to push people to lead healthier lives, New Mexico residents and their fellow citizens throughout the nation are living longer; sometimes into their seventies, eighties and beyond. As such, more and more people are finding that, as they age, they require some assistance to get through their daily lives, and as a result, more people are moving into nursing homes than ever before.
When a person acts without reasonable care, or without taking reasonable precautions to protect others from harm, then any injuries that result from that individual's actions may, based on the facts of the case, be compensable under a legal negligence theory of personal injury. In New Mexico and states throughout the country, negligence serves as the basis for many of the nursing home neglect cases that arrive in civil courts and that paint the tragic stories of victims who suffered harm while under the care of nursing and residential care homes.
It can be very difficult to place a loved one in a nursing home or other care facility. Many Bernalillo families agonize over whether they can provide the support their loved ones need before eventually choosing to select a facility that provides necessary medical and personal care. While many licensed nursing homes offer their residents and patients quality support and personal respect, others fail to meet their duty of care and cause those under their supervision to suffer preventable harm.
While families always have the best of intention when making the decision to move a family member into a nursing home, unfortunately, there are still situations of nursing home abuse throughout the United States, including New Mexico. Families of loved ones who enter into nursing homes expect a reasonable standard of care.
As medical technology and our understanding of human biological processes advance, people are often living longer, healthier lives. While this is probably a good thing in general, it can also lead to some unintended consequences. Because our ability to maintain the functions of physical life outstrips our ability to treat some of the other effects of aging, some older individuals find themselves in situations where it is difficult for them to live independently, either due to conditions affecting their mental capacity, or simply needing more care than their family or loved ones can give. This means that more and more people have to make the difficult decision to place an older family member in a nursing home.
In American society, we are often taught, directly or indirectly, that getting old is something to be feared and avoided as long as possible. However, no matter what we do, it happens to all of us. Watching a loved one, like a parent or grandparent, succumb to illness that makes the person unable to properly care for him- or herself is difficult, even more so if you are not in a position to take that individual into your own care. In such cases, sometimes a nursing home facility is the best option, but it pays to be vigilant regarding the requirements such facilities must adhere to so as to be able to detect any possible neglect or abuse.
When a person has been injured while in the care of another person, there are many defenses that those accused of causing the injury may attempt to utilize. A national chain of nursing homes has been accused of understaffing to the point where patients suffered injury and even death. When the nursing home and their counsel attempted to have the case 'thrown out,' the motion was denied by the presiding judge assigned to the case.