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Neglect and abuse in nursing homes

Families in New York are frequently concerned about the welfare of relatives in nursing homes. While most nursing home facilities provide quality care to their residents, there have been cases in which elderly or disabled residents have been subjected to abuse, sexual assault or neglect. In some cases, abuse and neglect can go on for some time before it is discovered and stopped.

Recently, two nurses aides in Massachusetts were arrested on charges that they abused and humiliated their charges while videotaping the abuse. The aides allegedly uploaded the videos to social media sites. This case has sparked increased interest in the issue of nursing home abuse and neglect, along with how these violations of trust can be identified, addressed and prevented.

Nursing home abuse can take several forms. In addition to physical abuse and humiliation, caregivers in these homes may be guilty of various types of neglect over medicating, failure to prevent bedsores and failure to properly monitor patients. Given the helplessness and vulnerability of most nursing home patients, such behavior on the part of nursing home employees can have devastating effects. Unlike the case in Massachusetts, video evidence may not exist, which can make it harder to prove what happened.

Nursing home residents who have been abused and their family members may benefit from speaking with an experienced personal injury attorney to determine what remedies may exist. Legal counsel may be able to review the patient's medical records and other available evidence in order to determine whether there has been a violation of the standard of care, and if so, file a lawsuit seeking damages from the responsible parties.

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