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Dementia patient missing due to alleged nursing home neglect

Making the decision to place a parent or grandparent in a nursing home is an emotionally difficult one. For some seniors who can no longer care for themselves because of dementia or medical conditions, it is often the only solution to provide for their safety, health and well being. The family who places a loved one in the care of the nursing home has the reasonable expectation that the staff will provide the important care that the patient requires.

However, when the nursing home exhibits a failure to monitor patients properly, it puts the safety of the patient at risk. Recently, a 74-year-old man suffering from dementia walked away from a nursing home in Queens. Sadly, he had not been found more than two weeks after his disappearance.

Not only did this dementia patient manage to wander away from the home unnoticed, he was not even reported missing for four days. Worse, the nursing home's director allegedly altered medical records in order to cover up the nursing home's negligence and gave false information to investigators. The director has since been fired and now faces criminal charges for endangering the welfare of a patient and falsifying records.

When a nursing home fails to provide the care and supervision to its most vulnerable patients, it puts those patients at greater risk for injuries or death. Through negligence and failure to maintain required standards of care, they break the sacred trust that families of elderly patients have placed in them.

Nursing home neglect and abuse affects the patients who do not receive the level of care they deserve -- as well of their families. In many cases, it is difficult for families to obtain full information or prove liability. That is why it may be important to consult an attorney about the rights of patients and their families in cases of nursing home neglect or abuse.

Source: New York Daily News, "Queens nursing home director charged with losing dementia patient, lying about it," Alison Fox, June 9, 2013

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