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Nursing Home Abuse

What is considered “abuse”?

What are some warning signs of mistreatment and abuse?

Does New York State provide rights specific to nursing home residents?





Q: What is considered “abuse”?

The law protects a resident in a nursing home facility from any physical, mental, sexual or verbal abuse. Examples of abuse include, but are not limited to: striking, shaking, hitting, harmful verbal statements, inattentiveness, disciplinarian restraints, and/or isolation. Any act or failure to act that harms a resident may be considered nursing home abuse.  The nursing home is supposed to provide a safe and secure living environment and abide by state and federal laws and regulations regarding standard of care.


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Q: What are some warning signs of mistreatment and abuse?

Nursing home abuse and negligence can take many forms and have multiple consequences. Sadly, many older adults who live in nursing homes often have difficulty communicating, especially those who suffer from mentally debilitating diseases such as dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. Warning signs of mistreatment and abuse include, but are not limited to: reddened or broken skin, rashes, sores, unexplained broken bones, head injuries, unexplained bruises, cuts, or scratches, burns, sudden weight loss, infection, or pneumonia.


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Q: Does New York State provide rights specific to nursing home residents?

Yes. New York State provides additional and separate rights to nursing home residents. If these rights are violated, the resident or his/her family may be entitled to monetary payments for their pain and suffering and also for their attorneys’ fees. These rights include, but are not limited to: right to privacy (including in their rooms, communications, medical treatment, visits, and meetings with family and resident groups), rights to proper safeguarding of property and money, freedom of choice and independent decision making, right to quality of care and treatment without discrimination, a complaint procedure that is responsive and easy to use, and a right to exercise their rights without fear of punishments.


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