Understanding and identifying medical malpractice in nursing homes

Is your loved one residing in a nursing home? Make sure you understand the warning signs and symptoms of medical malpractice. Here's what you need to know.

Nursing homes are designed to be a place where your loved one can receive care, treatment, and medical attention they might not be able to experience at home. In the state of New Mexico, there are very specific laws and policies designed to ensure that your loved one receives the best possible care and treatment while they are residing at a nursing home facility. For example, nursing homes are required to have a charge nurse available 24/7. Additionally, there must be one staff member on duty for each 9-10 residents who are living in the nursing home facility. This ensures that the residents are able to receive regular care and treatment at all times.

If your loved one, relative, or spouse currently resides in a nursing home, make sure that you understand their rights as a resident. This will help ensure that you're able to identify medical malpractice if it occurs. No one wants to think that their family member could be abused, but this happens far too often. Regardless of the size of the nursing home facility, there are several common signs of abuse you should be aware of.

Withdrawn behavior.

Has your loved one stopped contacting you? Are they no longer taking your phone calls? When you visit, do they appear to be withdrawn or anti-social? In many cases, residents who are being abused may withdraw from everyone around them, including their friends and family members. Acting withdrawn, avoiding social activities, and not wanting to talk are not normal signs of aging. In fact, they can be one of the first indicators that something is wrong at the nursing home.

Broken glasses

It's important to visit your loved one on a regular basis. Doing so will let them know that you care about them and that they are not forgotten; however, visiting also enables you to make sure that your loved one is being properly cared for. If you notice something strange about your loved one, never simply ignore it. For example, if they appear to have broken or damaged glasses, as well as torn clothing or unexplained bruising, it's important to consider that someone may be hurting or neglecting them.

Unexplained infections

If your loved one suddenly develops an infection that cannot be explained, this can be a common sign of physical or sexual abuse. Nursing home residents who are being assaulted or abused by a caregiver may develop infections. This is sometimes one of the first symptoms that something is wrong at the nursing home. Make sure you ask questions about the quality of care your loved one is receiving and if you have specific concerns about their health status, it's important to seek guidance and assistance in helping them heal.

If you believe that your loved one is the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, reach out as soon as possible to talk with an attorney who can assist you.