Has Your Loved One Been the Victim of New York Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect?

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

It’s unfortunate, but it happens. You have already made the incredibly difficult decision to put a loved one in the nursing home, but now you’re faced with something even worse. You’re faced with the probability that your loved one may be the victim of New York nursing home abuse or neglect. What do you do now?

Most nursing homes are fine, upstanding institutions that want to provide only the best of care. However, fully 25% are cited every year for causing injury or even death to residents. If that happens, you’ll need a lawyer who specializes in handling cases that deal with New York nursing home abuse or neglect. This kind of personal injury lawyer will help make sure that the institution pays for its neglect, incompetence, negligence or even outright abuse.

What are the signs of nursing home abuse or neglect?

The signs can vary, but oftentimes, when your loved one is being abused or neglected, he or she will be more withdrawn or fearful even if you don’t see visible signs of abuse. Of course, there may be classical signs of abuse such as bruises, broken bones, or other injuries, but there may also be more subtle signs of abuse that manifest as neglect. For example, if your loved one needs help with bathing, he or she may suddenly appear unkempt. This type of abuse is more psychological than physical. Staff may simply refuse to help with hygiene needs, thus making your loved one feel ashamed and embarrassed about his or her appearance.

That type of abuse can also have physical consequences, since not helping your loved one with his or her hygiene needs can lead to infection or illness. There may also be other types of abuse, such as refusal to help with feeding, withholding food or water, starving, refusing to give medication or giving the wrong amount of medication, and so on.

Regardless of the actual kind of injury or abuse, though, if your loved one is showing signs of neglect or outright abuse, you need help. A personal injury attorney who specializes in New York nursing home abuse or neglect can help you see to it that justice is done.

If you suspect your loved one is being abused and neglected, take action immediately. Contact nursing home administrators at once, to let them know what’s going on, and move your loved one to another location for safety reasons if you need to. Your next step should be to contact a personal injury attorney who specializes in New York nursing home neglect cases. He or she will review your case and if it is found to have merit, will do everything possible to make sure you get fair representation and compensation for your loved one’s pain and suffering. You don’t have to suffer in silence, and never let those responsible go unpunished. Contact the New York nursing home abuse lawyers at Brown Chiari today.

Placing Your Loved One in a Nursing Home: Look Before You Leap

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

It is natural to want to place your elderly loved one in a nursing home facility that is within close proximity; after all, you do want to keep them as close as possible.  However, it is crucial that you thoroughly check out the nursing home before you place your elderly parent or any relative in a facility, so that you will feel comfortable and trust that he or she is getting the best possible care.  At Brown Chiari, our New York nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers know all too well that a huge percentage of nursing homes today are not up to standard, and that residents are often abused or neglected at the hands of those who are supposed to care for and nurture them.  Here are a few things you should investigate before making your final decision.

Background checks.  While some nursing homes hire directly, others use temporary staffing agencies.  Be sure that the nursing home you are considering for your loved one performs background checks and screens employees for any history of abuse.

Licenses.  All administrators and nursing homes should be licensed by the state in which they are located.

Staff training.  While not required, some facilities actually have staff that are trained to recognize the signs and/or symptoms of abuse and neglect.  Those that are trained know how to effectively deal with residents who may suffer from dementia or other conditions that may make them difficult or aggressive.

Inspections.  Always ask to see a copy of the nursing home’s most recent inspection report.

Loss prevention.  Resident’s possessions are often stolen in many nursing homes today.  Ask if there are policies in place to safeguard your loved one’s possessions.

Turnover rate.  When there is a high turnover rate for CNA’s (certified nursing assistants), it is not a good sign.  Look into the positions to see if a problem exists; if so, talk with the director or administrator to determine why there are so many turnovers or changes in staff.

Special services.  Alzheimer’s care, rehabilitation and hospice are some of the specialized services offered by many nursing homes today.  Check to ensure that the nursing home you are considering for your loved one has a facility guideline for when patients should be placed in rehabilitation, hospice or other special units.

Incident reporting.  First of all, make sure that the facility you are considering has a system in place for reporting abuse or neglect.  Also check to see if there are any claims, how many or if they seem frequent, and how the home investigates and reports these complaints.  Check to see how any complaints that were filed were resolved.

Other areas you should investigate is whether there are physical restraints in place when there are not enough staff present to assist all residents at all times, so that you won’t have the worries of your loved one falling as he/she tries to move from the bed to a chair, etc.  In an ideal situation, there should be sufficient staff to assist residents at any time, even on weekends.  Make certain that there is adequate time during meal times so that your loved one has enough time to eat, and that assistance is available should he or she need help with meals.

By checking off the list above, you can prevent much of the stress and worry of placing an elderly loved one in a nursing home facility.  Abuse and neglect are real and growing problems today; what you desire for your loved one is care and nurturing in a comfortable, secure environment.

If you suspect that your loved one is being mistreated in a nursing home or elderly care facility, contact the New York nursing home abuse and neglect attorneys at Brown Chiari today.   Our New York injury attorneys fight to protect the rights of those in nursing homes, and to seek the justice your family deserves.

South Carolina Nursing Home Worker Charged With Murder in Death of 82-Year-Old Resident

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

On Thursday, November 17th, 30-year-old Braquette Wykina Walton was charged with murder in the death of 82-year-old Pauline Cook, a resident of the Oak Bridge Terrace Assisted Living Residences, located on the campus of the Park Pointe Village Assisted Living facility that is located along Chesbrough Blvd.

Cook was found dead in the shower with what the York County Coroner’s Office considered injuries that were not consistent with what was first thought to be a fall.  Cook’s family stated that the victim was found badly bruised.  Only one day earlier, Cook had talked with police about stolen checks.  Prior to her death, Cook told Rock Hill police that after reviewing a print out of checks that had been cashed over a period of time from her bank, she noticed that four of the checks had signatures that did not match hers.  The checks were made out to Walton, the worker charged in Cook’s death, between October 12th and November 1st, and totaled $1,280.

The victim also informed police that Walton had access to residents’ apartments; she was not working at the time that Cook complained to police, according to the police report.  Cook was found about 6:30 a.m. the following morning by nursing staff, who called for medical help and attempted CPR.

According to Police Chief John Gregory, the crime did not appear to be a random act of violence.  Walton was arrested on the morning of November 15th as she was driving toward her home.  She was charged with uttering and forgery before being transported to the Rock Hill jail.  Police charged Walton with murder the following Thursday afternoon.

As experienced New York nursing home abuse attorneys, this is a case that goes far beyond abuse – a life was taken.  Residents of nursing homes not only often face physical and mental abuse, but financial abuse as well as was clear in this case.  An elderly woman is now dead over what appears to be $1,280 in forged checks.  For some, it seems, the human life has very little value.

If you suspect that your loved one is being abused or neglected in a nursing home, either physically, emotionally or financially, contact the New York injury lawyers at Brown Chiari.  We work vigorously to protect the rights of those residing in nursing home facilities that may be subject to unacceptable treatment.