Choosing the right nursing home for a loved one generally takes serious time and dedication, depending on the family member’s physical and mental needs. When it comes to the right nursing home itself, staff and medical teams are also an absolute must. What happens when a New York nursing home fails to meet these needs?
The state of New York works to protect individuals from nursing home neglect, especially when that neglect leads to illness, injuries or any other kind of distress. Oftentimes, those who suspect their loved one is not getting the proper care they need may choose to take further legal action.
While all states in the country strive to protect the rights of citizens, situations can, unfortunately, fall through the cracks. Just last week, an article in Times Union revealed that New York could be slow to investigate nursing home complaints. The state controller’s office released audits showing that New York’s Education Department took roughly five times longer than it should have to investigate complaints of serious offenses by nurses — with some investigations taking on average 228 days to complete. Some of these offenses included physical and sexual abuse. While these reports certainly shed a bleak outlook on the state’s path to resolution on the matter, the Times Union acknowledged that officials from these agencies have allegedly made improvements since the release of these reports.
The improvement claims of state officials may appear uplifting to some New York residents, but past numbers nevertheless point to the contrary. The New York Department of Health provides a list of nursing home resident rights, which — first and foremost — include dignity, respect and a comfortable living environment. At the bottom of the list, which includes rights to visitation times, recreational activities and other essentials to well-being, a clear statement shows that all residents have the right to be free from verbal, sexual, mental and physical of abuse from nursing home staff.