Over 5,700 elderly New Mexico residents rely on the care of nursing home facilities to meet their basic needs. Residents, and their families, should be able to trust that they will be well cared for in these homes; unfortunately, this is not always the case.
New Mexico’s care facilities are rated as some of the worst in the United States. Almost half of the nursing homes evaluated in a study by ProPublica had one or more serious deficiencies. What should all families know about nursing home neglect and abuse in order to protect their loved ones?
New Mexico nursing homes need to improve their care
An alarming number of care facilities are under-performing, placing their residents’ health at risk. Between 2015 – April 2018, New Mexico’s nursing homes were fined $2.42 million for infractions. While some violations are minor, such as delayed mail, others are very serious, including physical and emotional abuse.
The New Mexico Attorney General’s Office is currently pursuing a civil lawsuit against two nursing home operators for failing to provide adequate care at seven different nursing homes.
Nursing homes are still a valuable option
Despite the reports of nursing home deficiencies and infractions, nursing homes can be very valuable care providers. Many nursing homes do provide residents with excellent care. Families should just keep a close eye on their loved ones and always remain alert for possible signs of neglect or abuse. These signs can be physical or behavioral in nature, including:
- Changes in appetite and weight
- Decrease in hygiene
- Depression, fear, reluctance to speak
- Bruises, cuts, unexplained injuries
Remain in regular communication with your loved one, and visit the facility as often as possible to check on their happiness and well-being. If you notice any warning signs, take action as quickly as possible.