Nursing home abuse is downright evil.
It has become so prevalent that many people cringe when thinking of putting a loved one in a nursing home, for this very fear.
If you suspect that your loved one is being harmed, reach out to a New Jersey nursing home neglect lawyer immediately.
This abuse is horrific and alarmingly widespread. It must be stopped.
There is nothing that will undo the harm that has been done against you or your loved one. However, seeking compensation will provide the needed financial support to make a recovery.
It is also essential to bring necessary attention to this nursing home so that this does not happen again.
It should NEVER happen.
Yet, it does. And people get away with it.
Do not allow nursing home abuse to continue for your loved one or anyone else.
SCHEDULE A FREE CONSULTATION with a New Jersey nursing home abuse lawyer today.
Warning Signs That Abuse May Be Taking Place In A New Jersey Nursing Home
When your loved one is in the care of a nursing home, it is very important that you pay special attention to their physical and emotional well-being.
Too often, warning signs of abuse are written off as conditions related to old age or dementia.
Do not be quick to dismiss anything that feels, looks or sounds off to you.
Some of the mental deterioration that comes with complications of illness, such as dementia, is often heart-wrenching for families to witness. For this reason, it could be easy to be in denial about something that feels off.
Therefore, it is important to be aware of some of the more common signs of nursing home abuse:
- Broken bones or fractures
- Bruises, cuts or bumps
- Bruised areas around the genitals
- Infections and diseases that are unexplainable
- Dehydration and malnutrition
- Emotional withdrawal
- Loved one grows quiet any time an employee enters the area
- Changes to financial status, unpaid bills, and missing wallets
- Changes to their Will or Power of Attorney
Make sure that you always take the time to observe what is going on in and around the nursing home whenever you visit.
Even if you cannot tell right away that your loved one may be in danger, there may be other warning signs in the nursing home that may cause you to investigate a little further into the situation.
Common Forms of New Jersey Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home patients can be especially vulnerable. They are easy targets. It’s a sick thing to realize, but with the frequency of abuse, it is a necessary awareness we should have.
The process of placing your loved one in a home is never an easy decision.
Often, there is a serious decline in their health.
The imminence of death is more of a reality. The transition to a nursing home can often feel like a loss for many people.
For many, it is hard to even see their loved one in such a vulnerable state. Therefore, the idea of something horrific happening to them is too much to bear. Most especially, in a place where you are entrusting others with your loved one.
This is why being aware of the types of abuse that can occur is essential. Remain vigilant for any warning signs.
Interacting with your loved one during a visit can help you establish if any forms of abuse are taking place to your loved one.
Physical abuse can include several different scenarios.
Neglect is a form of abuse.
Neglecting a patient or leaving them in one position for an extended period of time can cause bed sores. This is just one warning sign of abuse.
Physical abuse may also entail battery or physical abuse of any kind.
Force-feeding or forced medications, overmedicating the patient for any reason, and the excessive use of chemical or physical restraints are abuse.
Some nursing homes believe that restraining patients is for their protection, when in fact it is to keep the patient in place so that they do not have to provide any additional care.
It is absolutely within your right to question ANYTHING you feel is an unacceptable form of care.
If after further investigation, you have reason to believe abuse is present, contact a free consultation with a New Jersey Nursing home abuse lawyer.
We are experienced in this particular area and can help you assess the situation if further action is warranted.
Abuse, on ANY level, IS NEVER ACCEPTABLE.
Verbal abuse is one of the most common forms of emotional abuse in a nursing home situation.
Insults, sarcasm, verbal degradation, threats, and vulgar language are all forms of emotional abuse. Yelling or shouting at a patient is also abusive behavior.
Mental abuse also includes tactics where the patient is isolated from other patients or their family.
It involves having the caregivers threaten the patients in any way, such as withholding food or water if they become “too much” work.
Patients often suffer from dehydration and can get infections quickly because they are afraid if they ask for help they are asking too much from the provider.
Emotional abuse also includes manipulating patients to act in specific ways or to stay quiet about treatment or abuse out of fear of more harm.
If your loved one reacts strangely to any questions about their care, it may be a sign of emotional abuse.
NEVER take this lightly. Begin taking notes immediately and pay close attention.
Some nursing home employees will take advantage of the patients financially.
Employees that may be in charge of managing bills may pay bills late or not at all, use funds to cover their own expenses or just steal the patient’s assets.
Manipulating the patient to change a Power of Attorney or their Last Will in any way is also financial abuse. Patients may also be forced to sign other important legal documents as well when this type of abuse occurs.
Some of us have personally been affected by these tragedies. Others have been affected through fighting for justice on behalf of those who have gone through this horrific experience.
We have compassionate, experienced lawyers available for a free consultation with you, if your loved one has been harmed.
Sexual abuse is a multi-part type of abuse that can occur in a nursing home setting.
Sexual abuse occurs when a patient is forced into sexual conduct out of fear or because they are too weak to fight back from the content.
The abuse can be from any employee, other patient or visitor.
The nursing home is obligated to protect the patient from this type of abuse from anyone who is on their property.
Neglect is any type of care that is harmful to the patient.
This can include and is not limited to, bed sores from not moving the patient, cuts, bruises or other physical injuries that are due to rough or negligent handling.
Infections from not being cleaned properly, not taken to the bathroom enough, or on surgical sites that have not been cared for are forms of neglect.
Dehydration, malnutrition, and starvation are forms of neglect. Being isolated or forced to be restrained is also a form of neglect. Failure to provide medications in a timely matter or at all is also neglect.
Some of these signs are tricky to notice because they can be blamed on a patient’s deterioration in health. That is why it is crucial you know the warning signs, pay close attention, and take careful notes.
Your loved one depends on you to get them the help they need to recover from this terrible ordeal.
Different Grounds For Filing A New Jersey Nursing Home Abuse Claim
When it has been shown that a nursing home or one of its employees has acted in a negligent manner, the nursing home will be held responsible.
The nursing home can also be held responsible for negligent actions in addition to the harm to the patient when abuse occurs. Some of these additional claims include:
Understaffing The Facility
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), the average staffing of a nursing home should be one employee per two patients. This amount of care is considered reasonable.
Take notice when you visit. If you continually see a shortage of staff, keep a closer eye and document everything.
If the nursing home continually is understaffed, abuse and neglect can occur. Understaffing also leads to stressful job positions for the staff which can, in turn, lead to harm to the patients.
An overstressed employee is less likely to be compassionate towards the patent than one who has a normal work level.
Nursing homes are required to conduct adequate background checks on their employees prior to offering employment.
If employees have any record of abuse towards patents of any kind, they should not hire the individual.
Employees are also supposed to have specific educational backgrounds, degrees or certificates for the positions that they are hired.
Hiring unskilled workers can lead to harm.
Regardless of educational background or prior experience, all personnel should have training for the position that they are working at for the current nursing home.
Every business has its own rules and standards, and employees must be trained in those areas so that they can stay in compliance.
This is especially true for sanitary reasons. All employees must be trained to keep conditions clean and prevent spreading germs between patients.
It is common knowledge that a majority of the medical care provided in a nursing home is through the nursing staff.
However, the nursing home has an obligation to have a doctor on staff, and other doctors available at all times, to protect the patients.
Failure to have access to doctors is a form of negligence.
Improper medication can include giving the wrong medication, giving the wrong dosage or giving the medications at the wrong times.
Many medications require that the patient receive the medications at specific times for the medication to work properly.
Failure to give the right medications accurately can lead to serious harm.
Most elderly patients are on vast amounts of medications. It is best to keep a copy of their medications in your records as well as in their wallets and their nightstand drawer.
You should periodically check with the staff that you are all current on the correct amounts and timing of each one.
Breach Of Statutory or Regulatory Rights Of Patient
Every patient has the right to dignity, autonomy, and privacy.
A violation of these fundamental rights by the staff or through the policies of the nursing home is a form of negligence.
Third-Party Responsibility Claims
If someone enters the nursing home as a vendor, sales rep, visiting medical practitioner, family member or visitor to another patient, the nursing home holds responsibility for their actions while they are on the property.
The harm that comes to the patient as a result of one of these people being on the premises is the responsibility of the nursing home.
Your New Jersey nursing home neglect lawyer may find additional lapses in duty by the nursing home based on the facts of your case.
It can feel devastating to think your loved one being harmed. If you have a reasonable suspicion that your loved one has been harmed by the care received at a nursing home, you need to put an end to it.
We encourage you to CALL AN ATTORNEY today and we will help you.
How A New Jersey Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Can Help
Nursing home abuse is something that should never be overlooked.
Many people believe that some of the accusations being made may be due to age or dementia. Abuse claims should ALWAYS be taken seriously. Most especially in such a vulnerable population.
Sadly, many of these cases are never brought to justice because they were never investigated. We encourage you to take any hint at abuse seriously and seek legal help.
The first thing that we will do when we represent your loved one in a nursing home neglect case is to notify all of the proper authorities.
You cannot expect abuse or neglect to stop if it is not reported.
Once we have reported these actions to the state so that it is a matter of record, an independent investigation will be conducted, and we will build the case.
We will notify the nursing home of the allegations and that our law firm intends to file a lawsuit on behalf of your loved one.
Once notified, most nursing homes desire to negotiate a settlement instead of going to trial.
We will work on the negotiations for you and make sure that your loved one receives full and complete compensation.
The moment that you discover abuse is taking place, document everything.
Keep a journal of everything you have witnessed, observed or have been told.
Because many nursing homes like to blame “alleged abuse” on the state of mind of the elderly person, having a first-hand account by a family member is very powerful in the negotiations process.
If the settlement offer is not reasonable or the nursing home will not accept responsibility, our firm will file a lawsuit on behalf of your loved one and take the case to trial.
We want to make sure that everyone has access to legal representation, regardless of finances.
THERE IS NEVER A FEE UNLESS WE WIN. You do not have to hesitate about seeking legal representation for your loved one due to the cost of an attorney.
Our law firm works on a contingency basis which means we do not get paid until we win your case.
Our service starts with a FREE CONSULTATION and does not end until we win.
Protect your loved one and speak to an attorney today.
We will gladly meet you at your home or the nursing home if it is more convenient for you or your loved one.
We understand that this is a challenging time and that emotions are running very high. We are here to help.
Your loved one has the right to quality care when they are in a nursing home.
If they have been neglected or abused, speak with a New Jersey nursing home abuse lawyer today.