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Are You Worried that Your Loved One is a Nursing Home Abuse Victim?
To many, it is the hardest decision of all. It is difficult placing a loved one in a nursing home or assisted living when the time comes. Meanwhile, you are not alone. Millions of people put their faith and trust in these facilities to ensure that their loved ones receive care and dignity. Your guilt may turn to anger when you suspect nursing home abuse. After all, doesn’t the facility have a legal responsibility to protect the health and safety of their residents?
Tragically, nursing home negligence is a serious problem in New Jersey and nationwide. According to to the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA), 10 percent of all nursing home residents face abuse or neglect. Also, the NCEA adds that not all nursing home abuse and neglect are reported.
Elderly residents in nursing homes and other facilities are vulnerable. They are frail, might have diseases such as Alzheimer’s or other cognitive problems, or could be failing. As a result, they are frequently victims of abuse and neglect.
Imagine a situation where your elderly parent can no longer take care of himself or herself and is in need of round-the-clock care. You decide you need to move your parent into a nursing home. This is not an easy choice. A few weeks or months later, while in the nursing home, your parent falls and the staff is unresponsive to requests for help.
What is Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home abuse can take the form of physical, emotional, sexual, or financial exploitation towards an elderly person at a nursing home, long-term facility, or assisted living. The abuse or neglect can be accidental or intentional. It can also include when a resident is not protected from safety hazards.
Examples of nursing home abuse and neglect include:
- Physical injuries—such as falls—due to inadequate supervision, resulting in broken bones, bruises, or cuts
- Malnutrition and dehydration
- Dirty clothing, dirty bed sheets, bed sores
- Prescription errors
- Assaults or intimidation by other residents
- Mocking or ignoring a patient or other form of emotional abuse
- Sexual abuse by staff
- Inadequate medical supervision or doctor visits
- Financial exploitation by caregivers or staff, stealing a patient’s identity
New Jersey has nursing home laws and regulations to prevent nursing home abuse and compensate those who experience neglect. Also, N.J.S.A. 30:13–5 outlines the rights of New Jersey’s nursing home residents, which includes the “right to present grievances on behalf of himself or others.”
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If your elderly loved one has suffered abuse or neglect in a nursing home or other facility in New Jersey, you may have a valid legal claim. You have the right to seek compensation for injury, medical expenses, and pain and suffering. If you believe that your loved one has been mistreated in a New Jersey nursing home, the Law Offices of Beninato & Matrafaljo can help. Call us to learn more.