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New case reveals extent of long-term care abuse

Nursing home neglect is, by its nature, a hidden problem. It is difficult to take a clear look at the dangers inherent in denying or forgetting care for seniors who are reliant on professional caregivers. This is why failure to properly care for nursing home residents should be brought to the attention of law enforcement.

A recent case of this dangerous type of neglect was recently uncovered and is bringing more attention to the problem nationwide. A man in long-term care at a New York institution for the severely disabled was discovered by visiting nurses to be infested with maggots. The report was leaked to the Associated Press, which believed it was unlikely the case would have been reported otherwise.

More than 250 employees of New York's state system for long-term care lost their jobs due to abuse or neglect in 2016, although more than three-quarters of cases happened in privately-run facilities. Florida experiences a similar problem, officials often cite privacy laws when responding to deaths of permanently disabled people.

Victims of long-term care abuse or neglect and their families are entitled to answers if they find bruises, bedsores, general poor health or other symptoms. Unexplained injuries, malnutrition or dehydration may be signs of lapses in care. Those responsible may be subject to civil and criminal proceedings.

Under Florida law, suits for abuse or neglect must be filed with the appropriate court within two years of an incident or the discovery of improper care. Consider legal representation if you suspect nursing home neglect.

Source: Journal Star, "Case of maggots in throat in NY offers rare look at neglect," David Klepper, Aug. 11, 2017

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