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New Mexico Ranked as the Worst State for Nursing Homes

New Mexico Ranked as the Worst State for Nursing Homes

In a shocking report published by ProPublica, New Mexico has been named the worst state in the nation for nursing home violations. Far outpacing the other states surveyed, New Mexico has a rate of 1.61 “serious deficiencies” per nursing home – and the next closest runner-up, Texas, only has a rate of 1.03. When inspectors visit nursing homes, they assign letter-grade ratings ranging from A to L for each section of their quality surveys. An A rating is assigned for minor infractions, like failing to deliver mail, whereas an L rating means there is serious abuse and negligence, such that it constitutes “immediate jeopardy to resident health or safety.” Based on the report, over 38 Medicare- or Medicaid-certified nursing homes were found to have a rating of J through L, out of 74 nursing homes surveyed over a three-year period. This is an unacceptably high number for our nation’s elderly, and it’s time that abusive nursing homes be held accountable for their residents’ health and safety.

Do you suspect that your loved one is being abused at an Albuquerque nursing home? Contact Michael J. Doyle, Attorney at Law at (505) 219-2176 to request a free consultation.

Seeking Justice for Elder Abuse

After the results of the ProPublica report were made public, the Albuquerque Journal reported on its findings. According to a spokesman for the New Mexico Department of Health, the department “take(s) seriously our role to protect New Mexico’s elderly population.” However, there are continuing concerns that the state government will be unable to correct this course on its own, as this trend has continued for some time and doesn’t show any signs of slowing.

One of the best ways to send a message to negligent owners and abusive caretakers is through a personal injury lawsuit. In one landmark case last year, a victim of nursing home abuse won a 28 million dollar settlement, and the collective payments in damages bankrupted the parent company and forced its 33 nursing homes to radically restructure their operations. Taking your nursing home abuse case to a personal injury lawyer is one of the best ways to seek justice for the abuse, and ensure it never happens to anyone else.

Recognizing Signs of Negligence in Nursing Homes

Placing a loved one in nursing home care can be difficult enough on its own, as you are trusting strangers with the care of your elderly relatives. Abuse of the elderly is reprehensible on every level, and a serious betrayal of trust on the part of the nursing home. But how do you know if your loved one is being abused or neglected?

Here are some important questions to ask yourself when visiting your loved one’s nursing home:

  • Does it smell clean and free of strong odors?
  • Do the residents look fairly alert and engaged?
  • Are the residents’ clothes clean and well-maintained?
  • Do the residents talk to one another and move about freely?
  • Are the staff qualified and friendly?
  • Is the temperature throughout the home comfortable?
  • Does everything look right?

If even one answer to these questions is “no,” you may want to investigate further. Try dropping in unannounced for your next visit, or asking your loved one and other residents questions about their experiences. It’s possible that the nursing home is abusing or neglecting residents, but attempting to hide that information from outside visitors, or intimidating its residents into silence. Medicare also offers a free and comprehensive checklist for nursing home visitors that can help you determine if the nursing home is obeying the law and treating residents well.

If you do have a loved one in an Albuquerque nursing home, and you suspect they are being abused, request a free consultation today. With over 10 years of experience, our personal injury attorney, Michael J. Doyle, offers zealous representation to victims of nursing home abuse.

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