Causes of Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect
When it comes to the causes of abuse and neglect in nursing homes and other elder care facilities, there are many. Some are rooted in the facility’s operations and personnel, but others arise due to the residential population and their needs.
Some common causes of neglect and abuse include:
- Untrained, underpaid, overworked staff
- Lack of necessary supplies and resources
- Poor management, lack of supervision, failure to address problems
- Failure to comply with regulations
- Negligent hiring
- Personal issues of staff (stress, mental health problem)
Nursing Home Negligence in New Mexico
Care for the elderly in residential facilities such as nursing homes is heavily regulated by New Mexico and federal law. Requirements under federal law include providing a sufficient ratio of staff to residents, providing necessary services for day-to-day life, and accuracy when providing medication.
State law requires these facilities to provide periodic physician care and have a full-time director and charge nurse on duty 24/7. The regulations also mandate that the basic needs or residents are met and that medications be properly administered. To prevent injury and possible abuse, state law forbids physical or chemical restraints unless in an emergency or with written doctor orders.
New Mexico’s Adult Protective Services Act (APSA) applies to nursing home residents. Abuse under the law includes any instance where someone knowingly, intentionally, or negligently causes pain, injury, or mental anguish. The APSA also provides how abuse is investigated and reported.