The residents of a nursing home depend on facility staff to treat them with dignity and care. When staffmembers fail to uphold these terms, there is a serious risk that people who depend on nursing homes for care will be seriously hurt. If you or a loved one has been harmed by a nursing home, do not hesitate to promptly contact an experienced attorney who understands the nature of these cases.
What Constitutes Nursing Home Abuse
The National Research Council notes that nursing home abuse includes any type of intentional action that either harms or creates a significant risk of harm to a nursing home resident. Abuse is not always violent in nature and can take several different forms. Some of the most common types of nursing home abuse include:
- Financial exploitation
- Physical abuse
- Psychological abuse
- Sexual abuse
The Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
It can be remarkably difficult to determine whether nursing home abuse is occurring. Many residents of nursing homes either have difficulty recognizing that abuse is occurring or might be afraid that conditions at the nursing home will become worse if they say anything. Some of the signs that nursing home abuse is likely occurring include the following:
- Bedsores that are not treated
- Broken eyeglasses
- Changes in the person’s behavior
- Not being provided medication at the correct times
- Refusal by the nursing home to let a person visit the resident alone
- Signs of restraint
- Signs of sexual abuse
- Unexplained bruises or scars
- Unexplained weight loss
New Jersey Nursing Home Law
The state of New Jersey has created several laws that help to decrease the occurrence of nursing home abuse in the state. Some of the important laws in this area include the New Jersey Nursing Home Residents’ Bill of Rights among others. This Bill of Right helps to make sure that residents of nursing homes are not deprived of their constitutional rights. Some of the areas addressed by the Bill of Rights include medical care, freedom from abuse and restraints, finances, physical and personal environment, visits and activities, privacy and confidentiality, discharges and transfers, protection of rights, and mail and telephones.
In addition to these state laws, there are also federal laws that aim to decrease the occurrence of nursing home abuse. In 1987, Congress passed the Nursing Home Reform Act, which establishes a standard of care with which nursing homes must comply. The Act requires nursing homes to frequently assess each resident, establish care plans for each resident, utilize a full time social worker if the nursing home has more than 120 beds, and provide nursing, rehabilitation, social, and pharmaceutical services. The United States Department of Health and Human Services as well as the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services are tasked with making sure nursing homes comply with these regulations.
Obtain the Assistance of a Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
If you believe that a loved one is a victim of nursing home abuse, a knowledgeable attorney can investigate the facts of the case to determine if any abuse is occurring. Contact Ferrara & Gable today for assistance with your case.