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Nursing Home Abuse FAQ

The following are questions we commonly encounter at the New York elder abuse law firm of Leandros A. Vrionedes, P.C. We are dedicated to protecting the rights of elders throughout New York. If you suspect that a loved one is a victim or nursing home or elder abuse, or if you have a specific question or concern regarding elder abuse, neglect, or mistreatment, contact Leandros A. Vrionedes, P.C. for a personalized consultation with an experienced New York elder abuse attorney.

How can I report abuse or neglect without the nursing home finding out?

As a resident of a nursing facility, you have the right to private meeting space for you and your family, the right to send and receive unopened mail, and regular access to a telephone in a private area. Your right to privacy in communication should be posted at the facility, and you should be able to request such privacy if not immediately available. Use one of these methods to contact a trusted friend or family member, or contact an attorney for help.

What is a Designated Representative?

A Designated Representative is an individual designated to receive the required information which is normally provided to the resident and to participate in decisionmaking regarding the resident’s care and treatment, when the resident lacks to the capacity to make these decisions. A Designated Representative can be appointed by the court, by the resident, or by family members.

What is a Health Care Agent?

A Health Care Agent is someone appointed by the resident to make treatment decisions on behalf of the resident in the event the resident becomes unable to decide for himself or herself. A Health Care Agent is created by the resident by completing a Health Care Proxy, which may be completed as part of an Advance Directive.

Are nursing homes allowed to use restraints?

Residents have a right to be free from chemical and physical restraints except as allowed by law and under certain conditions, such as under doctor’s orders. The use of restraints should be limited to specified time periods and subject to close monitoring, including periodic evaluation of whether restraints continue to be needed. A family member or Designated Represented should be involved in the discussion whether to use or continue restraints.

What do I do if I have been the victim of abuse, neglect, or other mistreatment?

You may file a complaint with the nursing home or with the New York State Department of Health by calling 1-888-201-4563, or contact the New York State Office for the Aging Ombudsman Program. You may also wish to contact an attorney to make sure your rights are secured and that action will be taken on your behalf. In New York City, contact Leandros A. Vrionedes, P.C.