You’ve worked hard to find a nursing home which you believe you can trust to take care of your elderly loved and keep them safe. Then, you learn that the home has violated that trust and your family member has been the victim of abuse. You wonder how this could happen? And is there anything you can do about it? Firstly, realize that is not your fault and you are not alone.
Statistics reveal that nearly 5 million elderly people fall victim to abuse every single year. Second, you CAN do something about it. If you suspect your elderly loved has been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, contact Davis & Brusca, and speak with a nursing home abuse attorney in Trenton, NJ right away.
The best way to help keep your loved one safe is to visit frequently and to be alert to the signs of possible neglect. Don’t wait for your loved one to tell you that something is wrong. Medical conditions may limit a nursing home resident’s awareness and, even if they have no cognitive impairments, they may be too afraid or ashamed to tell family that they are being abused.
Some of the most common types of nursing home abuse:
As Trenton, NJ nursing home abuse attorneys, the lawyers at Davis & Brusca know there ARE signs that the families of nursing home residents can look for which may indicate that their elderly family member may be being abused. These include:
While abuse frequently comes at the hands of one or more members of the nursing home staff, residents may also suffer abuse at the hands of other residents. However, depending on the circumstances, a nursing home may still be liable when this happens. It is their responsibility to use reasonable care to eliminate risks of harm from a resident’s environment, even when the “risk of harm” is caused by other residents.
If you suspect that your elderly family member is being abused or neglected, it is critical that you take action. Depending on the circumstances, this may even require involving the proper authorities, such as the police or the government regulators who oversee nursing homes in your area, such as the NJ Ombudsman’s office. You should always report your concerns to the nursing home’s administrator. And you may need to consider alternative arrangements to provide for the victim’s care to keep them safe.
The next step you should take is to call a Trenton, NJ nursing home abuse attorney, such as the lawyers from Davis & Brusca, to explore other legal options you may have to address your loved one’s injuries.
Currently, more than three million people in the U.S. live in nursing homes and that number will grow significantly. Why? Because the United States has an aging population. From 2012 to 2015, the number of Americans over age 65 nearly doubled from 43.1 million to 83.7 million. And statistics show this pattern is continuing. Many of these people will need care in a nursing home or other long-term care facility. Maybe even you. Unfortunately, as the number of people living in long-term care grows, studies indicate that the frequency of nursing home neglect and abuse is also growing. If you have learned this first-hand through your own family experience, you may need help from thenursing home abuse and neglect lawyers at Davis and Brusca.
What is Nursing Home Abuse? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) elder abuse is defied as “any abuse and neglect of persons age 60 and older by a caregiver or another person in a relationship involving an expectation of trust.” Studies indicate prevalence rates of nursing home abuse and neglect may be as high as 55 percent. In one study conducted by the National Center on Elder Abuse, 95 percent of the patients surveyed had witnessed others being neglected or been neglected themselves. Disturbingly, more than 50 percent of nursing home staff surveyed for the same study admitted to being involved in elder abuse or neglect.
Tragically, many of the health conditions which create the need for long-term care, such as Alzheimer’s Dementia or other degenerative diseases, make it easier for these patients to be abused. Residents with dementia may be unable to remember the abuse or to explain injuries to their families. Dementia also causes behavioral disturbances and some residents may become aggressive. In response, nursing home staff members who lack proper training or the right temperament may respond with aggression of their own. If this has happened to your loved one, calling Davis & Brusca, the nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers Trenton, NJ trusts may be the smartest decision you can make.
It should come as no surprise that a poorly run nursing home presents a much greater risk of elder neglect and abuse than a well-run facility. Proper staffing levels are crucial for providing quality care and preventing abuse and neglect. Understaffed facilities cannot provide proper supervision or care, often leading to catastrophic injuries and even death.
Most poorly run facilities are deliberately understaffed as part of a misguided effort to maximize profits. Caregivers are often underpaid and overworked. For the workers, long shifts with unreasonable patient loads lead to burn out. A caregiver dealing with these issues is much more likely to abuse or neglect the people they are supposed to be caring for.
Another factor which contributes to abuse and neglect is poor training. This includes using lower trained nurses, like LPNs, to provide care which exceeds what they are permitted to offer under their license. Frequently, this causes them to miss serious changes in a resident’s condition because they lack the training necessary to spot the issue.
When there are not enough staff to get the necessary work done, residents suffer. Typical injuries we see are:
Contact Davis & Brusca the nursing home abuse and neglect lawyers Trenton, NJ has come to trust, right away for a free no obligation consultation!
Nursing home abuse is something that families do not want to think about however it is a very real thing and it does happen to people in nursing homes. It can be financial abuse, sexual abuse, physical abuse, abuse of medication, isolation and much more. There are many different ways for somebody to abuse an elderly person that relies on them for 24 hour care in a nursing home, and there are new ways being determined every single day.
If you have the unfortunate luck to have a family member who is a victim of nursing home abuse, reach out to a nursing home abuse lawyer in NJ such as the ones available at Davis & Brusca, LLC to discuss your options in your case.
What rights do residents of nursing homes have?
If a resident is in a nursing home facility to participate in the Medicare program then by participating in the Medicare program that nursing home facility is saying their residents are going to be free from verbal, sexual, physical and mental abuse, it will be free of any physical or chemical restraint, especially if these restraints are imposed for purpose of discipline or convenience of workers, and they will receive treatment for their medical conditions. This is similar everywhere you go, and in fact restraints can be used upon a resident of a nursing home but only if a written order is given by a physician who specifies the circumstances in writing in the durations of said restraint. These restraints can only be used to ensure the safety of others in the nursing home whether that is residents or employees.
However if a nursing home is not regulated by federal statute but is instead private, and its residents still have rights under state laws but those laws will vary from state to state and will not be federally protected. So when you are considering putting your loved one into a nursing home, you should consider the benefits of a private nursing home versus a public nursing home or vice versa.
What will happen if a nursing home resident complains of abuse or neglect?
All states have a system in place for reporting abuse, neglect and exploitation of the elderly. This database also helps them investigate these allegations. Oftentimes investigating these allegations is going to include interviews with the resident that has alleged abuse, interviews with that resident’s family members, interviews with the nursing home and management of the nursing home. If the allegations are found to be true then Adult Protective Services is going to try to remedy the problems and prevent the reoccurrence of the abuse.
But there could be situations where the victim’s family is not going to feel satisfied or compensated for the abuse of their loved one has suffered at the hands of the nursing home they lived in. This means that these people make a nursing home abuse lawyer in NJ to try to further bring forth a civil action for damages against the nursing home, and depending upon the circumstances criminal action may warrant prosecution.