It seems that the patented New York no-eye-contact attitude is being carried over to nursing homes, resulting in worsening conditions for the state’s most vulnerable citizens: the elderly. Nursing home abuse is a problem all over the U.S., but New York is notably lackluster in addressing the issue despite being the state with the most number of nursing home residents in the country.
According to advocacy groups, the state funds provided to the agency running the required long term care ombudsman program in New York is less than one-fifteenth that of California, which has fewer nursing home residents. As a result, the capacity of the agency to monitor the performance and standards of care in long-term care facilities for the elderly in New York is severely compromised. This has significant consequences for the well-being of those who are unable or afraid to report nursing home abuse.
Some family members of residents who suspect some type of abuse have taken to installing hidden cameras in the room. These so-called granny cams have been instrumental in bringing to justice staff members that were recorded being abusive or neglectful. However, legal and civil rights issues have prevented legislation from passing that would make video monitoring a requirement in nursing homes despite the growing abuse and neglect problems in New York as well as the rest of the country.