When aging loved ones in New York require consistent care, it is a common practice for their family members to place them into a long-term care facility, such as a nursing home. While most nursing homes are professionally run, the unfortunate reality is that some facilities have low standards of patient care, or even a history of negligence and abuse. In the past, standard arbitration clauses in facility contracts made it difficult for families to hold a nursing home or negligent nurse accountable for their negative behavior.

Thanks to a rule that has been adopted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, however, individuals may be eligible to sue a nursing home or long-term care facility for alleged neglect of their loved one. Health care professionals believe that the long-overdue rule may change the industry for the better. With the law on their side, families may have more success achieving a settlement, and more media coverage means that the public will become more aware of the frequency of nursing negligence at particular facilities.

The first step towards keeping loved ones safe and ensuring that they are placed in a quality nursing home is by doing plenty of research. Families should not rush into the decision, experts say, and instead take the time to check out the nursing home's overall rating and whether any alleged negligence or abuse has been reported. The particular state's health department website is an ideal starting point. Touring the facility and speaking to staff members prior to committing to a particular nursing home is also recommended.

Even with vigilant research, however, elderly patients may end up in the care of negligent or overworked nurses. Families who believe that their loved one has endured abuse, neglect or substandard care at a nursing home may wish to meet with an attorney in order to determine what recourse may be available.


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