Finding professional and caring home care services for an elderly family member can be challenging. Families express concerns over the prevention of elder abuse and how they can protect a loved one’s legal rights. Seeking advice from an experienced elder law attorney can help you make the right decisions when it comes to your elderly loved ones.
There are several forms of elder maltreatment, including emotional abuse, neglect, physical abuse, and financial abuse. Some studies report as much as 25 percent of elderly adults are abused in some fashion at the hands of caregivers. Caregivers can be paid employees or family members.
One obstacle in remedying elder abuse is identifying it in the first place. Older adults may have dementia or other health issues, that may cause them to have a disheveled appearance. Separating the cases where an individual’s grooming issues are caused by maltreatment, as opposed to it being an effect of medical and psychological concerns, is not as easy as one might think. Additionally, it may be necessary for caregivers to take precautions, such as physical restraints, to safeguard an individual’s safety. Each case must be analyzed on an individual basis because the circumstances may lead to a finding of maltreatment, or may be a justifiable safety measure.
Another obstacle facing abuse is the secrecy surrounding issues of elder abuse. According to the Family Caregiver Alliance, there are approximately 65.7 million informal and family caregivers in America. Due to such a high number of family and informal caregivers, many times elder abuse is not discussed or reported. Aside from instances of intentional abuse, caregivers can often suffer from fatigue and lack of resources to adequately care for their loved one which can lead to unintentional neglect or abuse.
Choosing the right caregiver and planning for long term care are very difficult and important decisions you and your family will have to make. Contact an experienced New York elder law attorney who can help. For more information, contact Hobson-Williams, P.C. at (718) 210-4744 for the quality representation that you deserve.
Recently, five former health care workers at a nursing home facility were convicted of several crimes in connection with the death of a 72 year old rehabilitation patient. A respiratory therapist and three nurses were sentenced to various jail terms and probation for the attempted cover–up of the circumstances surrounding the patient’s death. In addition, another respiratory therapist entrusted with the patient’s care was convicted of criminally negligent homicide.
Aurelia Rios had gone to the Medford Multicare Center for Living, Inc. for rehabilitation purposes. While there, she required the use of a ventilator to aid in respiration. However, the respiratory therapist had not read the doctor’s instructions and neglected to connect the ventilator when Rios had gone to sleep. Evidence shown at jury trial demonstrated that Rios’s respiratory and cardiac alarms had gone off when she stopped breathing, but that the therapist and the nurses ignored the activated alarms and the messages sent to their pagers. Staff waited two hours before responding to Rios who had been dead for a considerable amount of time. Additionally, surveillance footage showed two occasions when the respiratory therapist walked by Rios’s room, ignoring the alarms signifying respiratory distress.
The employees proceeded to both falsify nursing notes and conceal computer records in connection to the incident. Further, none of the staff reported to the New York State Department of Health as required by law.
Among the charges the nursing staff were found guilty of include:
- Falsifying Business Records
- Endangering the Welfare of an Incompetent or Physically Disabled Person
- Willful Violation of Health Laws
Three former aides pled guilty to charges arising from the same occurrence. The Medford facility corporation’s owner will also be sentenced to seven days in jail on two counts of Falsifying Business Records and Willful Violation of Health Laws.
In addition to the criminal charges, the New York State Attorney General filed a civil lawsuit, charging the corporation with corporate looting and fraud related to a history of criminal activity conducted by the corporation’s employees.
If you or a loved one has experienced nursing home neglect or abuse, contact an attorney immediately who can protect and advise you of your legal rights. The Law Offices of Tanya Hobson-Williams is dedicated to fighting for the rights of the elderly and vulnerable and has successfully handled numerous cases concerning nursing home abuse and neglect. For more information, call the Law Offices of Tanya Hobson-Williams toll free at (866) 825-1529 or (718) 210-4744.
In an effort to combat elder abuse in the United States, the Obama Administration recently released a program outline titled “The Elder Justice Roadmap”.
The Elder Justice Roadmap will be used to develop strategic plans and provide guidance in tackling the highest priority challenges to elder abuse prevention and prosecution.
Aiming identify the most critical priorities in elder abuse issues, The Elder Justice Roadmap derives its content from the opinions of hundreds of experts and innovators from across the country.
Using this collective data, proponents of the initiative hope to develop strategies to raise public awareness about elder abuse, conduct research about the costs of elder abuse, develop better treatment options for victims, and inspire a more active involvement from the private sector. Continue reading “Federal Government Introduces New Efforts to Combat Elder Abuse”
It is estimated that over 45 percent of New York’s senior citizens have been in their homes for decades. Most of these seniors are housed in rent-regulated apartments and recently, it has come to light that many landlords have engaged in unfair and cruel practices in an attempt to get rid of long-term tenants and make more money. The claims of such mistreatment of senior citizens began to multiply in 2013 and as a result a bill has been introduced in the New York City Council that will increase penalties of such behavior and hopefully send a message to the landlords of New York City.
The bill, which was introduced early in 2014, sets to double the maximum civil penalty to $10,000 for property owners who abuse seniors. The legislation would also place such property owners on a black list maintained by the city Department of Housing Preservation and Development. Continue reading “New Bill Targets Landlord Mistreatment of Senior Citizens”