Nursing homes can lead to personal injuries for residents

Nursing home abuse, neglect and negligence are three of the top problems facing many senior citizens in New York.

Wh at are some of the dangers facing elderly people in New York? Given the cold, extreme winters the state often experiences, it would be safe to say that slipping on ice could be a top danger. So could be freezing to death for those senior citizens who lack reliable access to heat. However, one area of personal injury that may not immediately spring to mind is nursing homes.

The threat is genuine

Many people who go to live in nursing homes have great experiences. Unfortunately, another set of people has terrible things happen to them. A sprinkling of what has happened includes:

· Understaffed nurses and assistants forgetting to communicate about medication

· Physically and mentally frail residents unable to fully communicate or even fully remember physical abuse

· Rape and sexual abuse by nurses, staffers and others who prey on residents

Sometimes, what happens is unintentional. For example, all it takes is someone calling in sick for a staffer to be overwhelmed and to delay dispensing medication. Sometimes, though, what happens is quite intentional. Either way, it is abuse, neglect or negligence that should not happen.

The outcomes can be devastating

Bedsores can be a symptom of abuse, and a nursing home that does not move a resident enough might be guilty of providing inadequate care. This lack of care might lead to devastating outcomes. Already serious conditions could be exacerbated. Death can even result.

A resident who suffers sexual abuse from a staff member or even another resident might not die. But the emotional fallout is huge, and there can be serious physical injuries too. Nursing homes have an obligation to protect their residents; someone having dementia is not an excuse or justification for the nursing home letting sexual abuse happen.

People are living longer

Many people are living longer, and in some areas, the demand for nursing homes is great. Recruitment is already a problem for many homes, as the jobs there tend to pay relatively low. So, as facilities take in more and more residents, there might be even more understaffing. The possibility for more cases of abuse and negligence is there.

People living longer also means that more nursing home residents may have issues such as dementia or diminished mental capacity. More sexual abuse could occur as a result.

Someone who is in the last few decades of his or her life deserves to be treated with every bit of dignity and respect as anyone else. Unfortunately, abuse occurs all too often at nursing homes. An attorney can help victims and their families seek compensation.