Attorney Tanya Hobson-Williams Outlines Steps Families Should Take to Help Ensure the Safety of Loved Ones in a Nursing Home

August 11, 2014

Recent Reports Point to Widespread Violations Compromising Patient Care

JAMAICA ESTATES, NY – Attorney Tanya Hobson-Williams of Hobson-Williams, P.C. advises family members to check in periodically, or to pay an aide to check in, with loved ones in nursing homes. She explains that frequent visits help to make sure their loved ones are treated properly by nursing home staff. She also says that, before admitting a loved one into a nursing home, relatives should learn more about the facility, its safety record, and the patient-to-nurse ratio.

Ms. Hobson-Williams says more scrutiny of the care provided in nursing homes is needed following the recent death of a 71-year-old woman at a Long Island assisted living facility. An employee at Medford Multicare Facility said the decedent died two minutes after her ventilator malfunctioned. The resident’s death is currently being investigated by the New York State Attorney General’s office and the New York State Department of Health.

Medford Multicare Center is also under investigation for the death of another resident that occurred in June. Nine employees were arrested for charges ranging from patient abuse and neglect to falsifying business records. In addition, the state cited the center for 130 violations since 2003, when the facility opened.

“It is important that nursing home staff members see family members looking after and visiting their loved ones,” Ms. Hobson-Williams said. “When a nursing home or care facility does not see anyone checking on a resident, there is greater opportunity for abuse. You should also make sure that the facility or nursing home you choose for a loved one is a reputable one.”

According to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), nearly one in three nursing homes were cited for violations of federal standards that could cause actual harm to a resident; nearly one in 10 homes had violations that could have caused its residents harm, serious injury or death. The NCEA found that 44% of residents surveyed said they were abused and 95% said they had been neglected or seen someone neglected. More than half of nursing home staff admitted to mistreating senior residents, with two-thirds of those incidents involving neglect.

“If you visit your loved one and notice bruising or bleeding that was never there before, or if they are dehydrated, they may have been a victim of abuse or neglect,” Ms. Hobson-Williams said. “It is imperative that the residents’ family members contact an attorney to discuss the matter.”

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