New Mexico Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
Because of the sheer amount of nursing homes that continues be a growing problem across the nation, New Mexico has State laws that are in place to protect elderly and disabled citizens who reside in nursing homes. Yet, even with stringent laws, nursing home abuse and neglect in in New Mexico is still happening frequently. In some instances, victims might not not even know that laws are being broken and that they have the right to seek legal recourse for the damages incurred. Therefore, it’s essential to understand New Mexico nursing home abuse laws and the legal options available. It’s also important to understand how severe the problem of nursing home abuse and neglect in New Mexico has gotten.
New Mexico Cities
Nursing home abuse attorneys represent the victims of nursing home abuse and neglect throughout Arizona including the following cities and their surrounding areas: Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Rio Rancho, and Santa Fe.
New Mexico Nursing Home Abuse Facts
Per the New Mexico Adult Protective Services Division (APS) and the Aging and the New Long-Term Care Ombudsman’s Annual Report, the top five nursing home complaints, in order, are:
1. Staff members and caregivers failing to treat residents with dignity and respect
2. Problems with administration, medications, and organization
3. Ignoring and/or failing to respond to request for help and assistance
4. Failure to help needy residents with grooming, hygiene, and dressing
5. Poor diets, bland food, improper food storage, and failing to provide the necessary foods for residents on special diets
Additionally, in 2012, New Mexico’s APS received a total of 10,914 nursing home and elderly complaints abuse, neglect, and exploitation. Only 5,824 of those cases were investigated.The majority of the victims, 63%, were over 60 years of age while 24% of the victims were ages 80 and older. The most frequent complaint was for neglect, followed by exploitation and abuse.
New Mexico Nursing Home Abuse Statistics :
- Between 2008 through 2012, APS experienced an increase of nursing home abuse complaint. Reports of abuse have increased by 18%
- Financial exploitation reports increased by 22.3%
- APS predicts these figures will increase as the elder population increases in New Mexico
Over 1,400 elderly adults were provided services by APS after reported abuse.
New Mexico Special Focus Facilities
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) conducts regular, unscheduled inspections on nursing homes throughout the nation in order to make sure that each nursing home is providing quality care to the residents. Hundreds of nursing homes throughout New Mexico have received the lowest overall score possible during the most recent inspections, for deficiencies and infractions such as fire-safety issues, health-related infractions, and more. Some cases are so severe that CMS places them on a national watch list and labels them as “special focus facilities”.
There are currently no New Mexico nursing homes on the national watch list, but it’s important to keep track of nursing homes that have previously been considered an SFF as these facilities, at some point time, put residents at serious risk for injuries, accidents, and illnesses. If a nursing homes successfully completes and submits a managed care plan that proves that deficiencies and infractions have been prevented, they have the opportunity to be removed from the national watch list.
Again, however, it’s important to understand that the serious infractions that landed these nursing homes on the watch list in the first place could pose severe psychological and physical issues to the residents even in the future. Listed below are New Mexico nursing homes, that at one point in time, have been listed as an SFF:
- Advanced Healthcare of Albuquerque
- Albuquerque Heights Healthcare and Rehabilitation
- Casa Arena Blanca Nursing Center
- Clayton Nursing and Rehab
- Clovis Healthcare and Rehabilitation
- Fort Bayard Medical Center
- New Mexico State Veteran’s Home
- NM Behavioral Health Institute
- Paloma Blanca Health and Rehabilitation
- Red Rocks Care Center
- Rehabilitation Center of Albuquerque
- Retirement Ranches Inc.
- San Juan Care and Rehabilitation Center
- Silver City Care Center
- Sombrillo Nursing Facility
- Taos Living Center
- Vida Encantada Nursing & Rehab
New Mexico Nursing Home Abuse Laws
Per the New Mexico Resident Abuse and Neglect Act, nursing home residents have the right to be safe and free from physical, mental, and emotional abuse. They also have the right to live in a safe and sanitary environment. If any nursing home violates these mandated laws, they could face severe penalties. According to the act, nursing home abuse and neglect in New Mexico is defined as:
- Abuse: Intentional, negligent, or knowing acts of physical, sexual, or verbal acts that inflict pain, whether mentally or physically. Abuse can be verbal insults, threats, assault, harassment, intimidation, battery, humiliation, unnecessary restraints, and isolation from friends and family.
- Neglect: Refusal, whether negligently or not, to fulfill obligations to the residents, including food, water, shelter, medicine, hygiene help, and other essentials
- Financial Exploitation: Exploitation as defined by Arizona state laws is the act of recklessly, knowingly, and intentionally using a resident’s property for financial gain or any other benefit. Examples include manipulating the resident into giving a staff member or anyone else money or other property, misuse of property and monies belonging to the resident, loans of any kind, and accepting gifts and cash that values over $25.
Per NMSA 1978, Section 30-47-2 of the New Mexico Resident Abuse and Neglect Act, staff members who break the aforementioned laws, whether intentional or not, and whether a resident was actually harmed or not, may face misdemeanor charges.
Additionally, staff members or any employee/worker who guilty of negligence, even without intention, may also face misdemeanor charges. Furthermore, New Mexico allows victims and their families to seek legal recourse as well. Nursing homes may also face civil damages should victims and/or their loved ones retain a nursing home abuse attorney and file for damages.
Getting Legal Help in New Mexico
If your loved one has suffered from any from of nursing home abuse and/or neglect in Santa Fe, an experienced Santa Fe nursing home abuse lawyer may be able to assist you. Nursing home abuse lawyers have helped numerous victims become victorious and collect the damages they are entitled to. For more information and for a free consultation, call today.