The decision to place a developmentally disabled family member in a group home is a difficult one. Ideally, we should be able to rely on these homes to provide the highest level of care and attention to our loved ones. Most of these homes are required to be licensed by the New York Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) and must follow certain requirements to maintain this license. Unfortunately, some of these assisted care facilities are run by people who are only concerned about money and not with the care of the residents. As a result, residents are at risk for serious injury or even death.
Abuse of Residents
Employees of group homes are frequently overworked and underpaid. In addition, while background checks of employees should be performed under state regulations, sometimes dangerous employees slip through the cracks. These staff can become abusive towards the vulnerable residents who are unable to speak for themselves. Examples of abuse that can occur in a group home include:
- Physical Abuse—including hitting, improper and unnecessary restraints, cuts or burns
- Emotional/Verbal Abuse—staff can be verbally abusive and controlling of the residents which can lead to substantial emotional pain. Residents can become withdrawn and depressed.
- Sexual Abuse—sexual predators are sometimes drawn to facilities like group homes due to the vulnerability of the residents
- Financial Abuse—staff members may steal the financial resources of residents, including benefit checks, credit cards, and even the resident’s identity
Neglect of Residents
The staff at a group home are required to assist residents with their daily living skills and medical needs. Residents of group homes often can’t speak up for themselves when they’ve been neglected. It’s important for family members to be vigilant and look for signs of potential neglect. Examples of neglect in a group home setting include:
- Poor hygiene
- Unexplained injuries
- Medication errors
- Lack of medical care
- Lack of supervision.
If You Suspect Abuse or Neglect in a Group Home
If you suspect that your loved one is being abused or neglected in a group home, you should first call the police if you believe that they are at serious risk of injury. You can also report your suspicions to Adult Protective Services or Child Protective Services if the victim is a child.
Contact an Experienced Attorney
If your loved one has been abused or neglected in a group home, you should alsohave an experienced personal injury attorney evaluate your case. At Bonina & Bonina, P.C., we have over 50 years of experience helping injured New Yorkers. Contact us online or call us at 1-888-MEDLAW1 to schedule your free consultation. Home and hospital visits are available. Se habla español.]]>