Indications of Neglect or Abuse

When family members entrust the elderly to the care of a New Mexico nursing home staff, they assume their loved ones will be provided with professional protection and assistance. Neglect or abuse are insidious violations of this trust and should be noticed and addressed as soon as possible for the safety and health of loved ones who often cannot defend themselves. Family members who commit the care of their elderly loved ones to a nursing home should continually watch for both blatant and subtle signs of neglect or abuse.

  • Nursing home neglect or abuse directly violates the trust family members place in a nursing home staff.

  • Elderly within a nursing home facility should be carefully watched for signs of nursing home neglect or abuse.

  • Blatant indications of neglect or abuse include physical damage to the skin, such as unexplained bruising, open cuts, abrasions, and bedsores; frequent or unusual infections; sudden weight loss or gain; hair loss; soiled clothes and poor condition of hygiene; and damaged, stained, or bloody bedding.

  • Subtle indications of neglect of abuse may include unusual financial needs; personal items disappearing; unusual emotional responses; withdrawal or unresponsiveness physically or emotionally.

Types of Neglect or Abuse

The extensive nature of the care provided within a nursing home facility creates a broad spectrum of possibilities for this care to be neglected or abused. Sexual abuse and wrongful death are the ultimate violations of a vulnerable person seeking a place of rest and care. And while simple, daily tasks may seem insignificant to someone unskilled and untrained, the neglect of any of these can also result in serious ramifications for the elderly. Bed sores, falls, malnutrition, or incorrect medication doses create serious side effects and are clearly neglect of the needs of people who can no longer care for themselves. Neglect can quickly turn into abuse when these needs are continually ignored and the health and life of an elderly person becomes threatened.

  • Sexual abuse and wrongful death seriously violate the rights of the helpless and weak.

  • Neglect of daily care that results in bedsores, falls, malnutrition, dehydration, poor wound care, and inaccurate medication can easily become abuse as this neglect can quickly destroy the body of the elderly.

  • Abuse and neglect in the form of refusal to provide proper hygiene and basic needs threatens the well-being, emotional, and physical state of the elderly.

Immediate Action Required

Because of the serious threat to the elderly, the speed with which a person in fragile health can deteriorate, and the limited window of time for filing a complaint or lawsuit, any case of suspected nursing home neglect or abuse should be immediately addressed. Initial action to protect and then steps to make the facility responsible for their actions should take place with the proper legal backing.

  • The needs of the elderly demand immediate physical protection.

  • Limitations in the time for filing require urgent action.

  • Legal coverage of nursing home facilities necessitate skilled representation.