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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:
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:
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.
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 Law today for assistance with your case.