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What Can I Do If A Loved One Is Being Neglected?

It may be a bruise, a change in demeanor or an offhand comment that first makes you question the care your parent or other loved one is receiving in his or her nursing home. When you are worried about his or her safety, it can be difficult to focus on anything else — or to know how to proceed.

If you have concerns that someone you love is being neglected in a nursing home or assisted living facility in New York's Capital Region or the Hudson Valley, the attorneys of Zwiebel and Fairbanks, LLP, are here to help. If you have concerns about a loved one's nursing home care, we encourage you to contact us for a free consultation to learn more about your options.

What Can I Do If A Loved One Is Being Neglected?

  1. Visit the facility. It is important to see your loved one or relative in person for a variety of reasons. First, it allows you to evaluate the situation and identify any physical injuries. It also gives you a chance to observe the resident's behavior. And in many cases, seeing that a resident has loved ones who are engaged in their welfare motivates staff to provide better care. After a few visits, you may find that there is no need for further action. If you live too far from the nursing home to make an in-person visit, a third party such as a case manager or local ombudsman may be able to do it for you.
  2. Know what to look for. Common signs of neglect include bedsores (also called pressure ulcers), bruises, unexplained weight loss and poor hygiene. It is important to not just look, but also listen to your loved one. If he or she has dementia or another cognitive illness, take that into consideration but do not dismiss their concerns. These residents are particularly vulnerable.
  3. Research the facility. New York state, local and federal agencies keep track of complaints against nursing homes. Medicare, for example, hosts a comparison website so you can learn if the facility has a history of abuse and neglect.
  4. Secure the resident's safety. Nothing is more important than your loved one's safety. If you are fairly certain that misconduct has occurred and you fear for the resident's health, move him or her as soon as possible.
  5. Get help if you need it. There are many resources available for nursing home residents and their loved ones in New York. You may wish to contact your local ombudsman, New York State Department of Health or the attorney general's office for assistance. Hiring a lawyer experienced in nursing home negligence is often the best way to take action and begin holding the facility accountable.

Contact An Attorney For Help Protecting Your Loved One

We know it is difficult to trust anyone else with the care of your elderly parent or relative. Our goal is not to interfere with personal family matters, but to provide the guidance you need to make the best possible decision on behalf of the nursing home resident you care about. We will take his or her well-being as seriously as you do, as we have done for many nursing home residents.

To schedule a free initial consultation at your earliest convenience, we encourage you to contact our offices in Kingston at 845-338-0510. Your call will always be answered by a real person who cares about your case.