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A new low in nursing home abuse

Your parents are important to you, and you may have hoped to be able to care for them for the rest of their lives. However, when your mother or father became too ill or required special medical attention, you made the painful decision to find a nursing home. One of the hardest things you may have done in your life is to take the leap of faith and entrust your loved one to the care of relative strangers.

Now you suspect that trust has been broken. If you have noticed signs of abuse or neglect in your loved one, you may also wonder if your loved one is being subjected to the growing trend of public humiliation on social media.

Medicare responds to abuse allegations

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, responsible for the supervision of nursing homes, responded to recent news stories describing the horrific and ruthless treatment of vulnerable nursing home residents, which employees then posted on social media. CMS instructed state health departments to warn nursing homes that they must have policies regarding staff use of social media. The statement made several key points, including:

  • Nursing home staff members must respect the privacy, individuality and dignity of your loved one and all residents.
  • Nursing home management must prohibit staff from taking exploitive photos of residents.
  • Those responsible for staff training should stress abuse prevention.
  • Management must investigate and deal with allegations of abuse or exploitation in a timely manner.

CMS warned the nursing home industry that failure to address concerns of abuse or misuse of social media among employees might result in serious consequences, such as fines or potential expulsion from the Medicare program.

Your options for defending your loved one

Caring for the elderly and sick is a stressful job. It can be physically and emotionally exhausting. However, there are no excuses for the mistreatment of vulnerable people. When employees in a nursing care facility abuse or exploit your loved one, they are violating a sacred trust and should be held accountable for the pain they inflict.

If you believe someone on the staff of a nursing home is mistreating your loved one, or that someone is violating your loved one's right to privacy by posting or sharing personal information on social media, you certainly want to know how you can address this concern as quickly and comprehensively as possible. You may find that the help of a New York attorney with experience in nursing home abuse cases can provide you with the guidance you need. An attorney will help you protect your loved one and determine potential liability.

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