Jersey City Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers
Jersey City Nursing Home Abuse Lawyers
Moving a loved one into a nursing home is a difficult decision. Ultimately, you choose to do so to offer your loved one the care and attention they need. However, that’s not always what they receive. Even in the most respected nursing homes, abuse happens.
Despite the safeguards in place to prevent neglect and abuse, national laws do little to hold nursing homes responsible for this type of mistreatment, which means that it can come down to you to get your loved one the compensation they deserve for what they’ve endured.
If your loved one was the victim of neglect or abuse, the best thing you can do is to turn to Jersey City nursing home abuse lawyers for help. At Garces, Grabler & LeBrocq, we can help.
What Is Nursing Home Abuse?
Nursing home abuse is a single or repeated act or lack of action that causes a nursing home resident harm. There are many types of nursing home abuse:
● Physical abuse
● Sexual abuse
● Financial exploitation
● Emotional abuse
Physical abuse is when a resident suffers bodily harm as a result of something the caregiver at a nursing home did, while neglect refers to staff members failing to provide the adequate care that the person needs. Neglect can stem from staff carelessness and can include:
● Medication errors
● Poor personal hygiene
● Ignoring resident complaints
● Leaving residents unattended for hours
● Failing to respond to illnesses or injuries
Sexual abuse refers to a resident suffering from any kind of unwanted sexual contact, including groping and touching.
Another type of abuse harms a resident financially. It occurs when someone in the nursing home steals from the person or manipulates them to get money.
Emotional abuse can occur when someone uses threats against a resident or insults them. Emotional abuse tends to be one of the most common forms of nursing home abuse.
Abandonment occurs when the nursing home staff leaves an elderly resident who needs care from someone else to fend for themselves.
A resident at a nursing home facility who doesn’t get the care they need can suffer physical and emotional issues that affect their quality of life and can even put their life at risk.
Causes of Nursing Home Abuse
There’s no excuse for nursing home abuse, but there are common causes that can impact the chances of your loved one going through this.
One of them is staff shortages. A nursing home can only operate as it needs to if it has the right number of people providing the required services. When there are staff shortages, the remaining staff are spread thin. This often results in dropped standards, cut corners, and neglected duties.
Under-trained staff is another cause of nursing home abuse. Even if a nursing home has enough staff members, issues can still arise if they are not trained as they need to be or don’t have the right experience. Staff members at nursing homes have to receive ongoing training to adapt to resident needs.
Underpaid staff can also cause abuse in nursing homes. There aren’t standard rates for staff members because many nursing homes are privately owned businesses. Because of this, many staff members feel underpaid, leading them to do the bare minimum.
Staff members may abuse residents for personal reasons as well. They may have psychological issues, a history of abuse, or other issues that lead them to harm residents.
Poor nursing home management makes it easier for staff members to abuse residents or for neglect to occur. There has to be sufficient supervision for the size of the nursing home and the number of residents.
If people who abuse or neglect residents don’t suffer consequences, similar issues are more likely to occur. The same thing applies to nursing homes that don’t get shut down or penalized after cases of abuse or neglect are reported.
How Common Is Nursing Home Abuse?
Every year, the National Ombudsman Reporting System (NORS) receives more than 201,000 complaints about abuse and neglect from nursing home residents, family members, or other individuals.
In the United States, 10% of all nursing homes have been cited for abuse violations. Physical abuse makes up 29% of all abuse in nursing homes, while gross neglect makes up 14%, financial abuse makes up 7%, and sexual abuse makes up 7%. Resident-to-resident abuse makes up 22%.
What Are the Signs of Nursing Home Neglect and Abuse?
The exact signs of nursing home neglect and abuse depend on the type of abuse perpetrated, but there are common ones that can point to issues.
Signs of physical abuse can include:
● Broken bones
● Startling easily
● Social withdrawal
● Dental injuries
Sexual abuse can have signs like:
● Bruises around the breasts or genitals
● Blood on clothing or bed linens
● Torn or stained underwear
● Anal or vaginal bleeding
● Changes in behavior
● Unexplained sexually-transmitted diseases
Signs of emotional elderly abuse are less easy to spot. They are often subtle and take place over a long period. Even residents themselves sometimes struggle to notice the signs. Some things to watch out for in the resident include:
● Fear of being alone
● Repetitive actions, like rocking back and forth
● Withdrawing from social activities
● Refusing medication
● Refusing to eat
Nursing home neglect can have signs like:
● Hazardous living conditions
● Soiled clothes and linens
● Untreated injuries
● Unclean room
● Unexplained weight loss
● Medication errors
● Pressure ulcers
Any of these signs could point to a much larger problem in the nursing home, so it’s crucial to take action immediately.
What Are the Most Common Types of Abuse in New Jersey Nursing Homes?
Unfortunately, nursing home abuse can come in many guises. Here are the most common types of abuse in New Jersey nursing homes.
Physical abuse is one of the most common types of nursing home abuse in New Jersey. It can involve punching, slapping, kicking, rough handling, burning, and unlawful use of restraints.
Although physical abuse can occur to any resident in a nursing home, people with cognitive issues are most at risk. Physical abuse can lead to severe injuries as well as death.
Neglect is another common issue. It occurs when the nursing home staff fails to offer the right care, resulting in emotional and physical harm. Abuse and neglect tend to be different things. Abuse refers to active steps the staff takes to harm someone, while neglect refers to a lack of care from the staff.
One example of neglect is medication errors. Many nursing home residents rely on the staff to get the medications they need. Neglect can occur if the staff doesn’t provide the right medications or if they skip doses.
Neglect can also include not providing enough food or water, leading to malnutrition and dehydration. It can also involve not following the dietary needs of specific residents.
Neglect also presents as poor personal hygiene. Nursing home staff have to keep residents clean. This means changing their clothes and bed linens and helping them wash.
Leaving residents unattended for long periods is also neglectful and can lead to severe health issues, including bed sores. Neglect also involves ignoring complaints and not reporting injuries or illnesses quickly.
Emotional abuse is another common issue in New Jersey nursing homes. It’s emotional or psychological abuse that could involve the staff member using threats or insults to control a resident. It can take more time for this type of abuse to become apparent, even for residents.
Emotional abuse can involve isolating the person from their loved ones and from other residents, controlling a resident’s activities against their will, and even insulting their intelligence or appearance. This type of abuse can result in psychological damage and even PTSD.
Any form of unwanted sexual contact, such as touching and groping, is sexual abuse. It can lead to emotional trauma as well as sexually transmitted diseases and other physical damage. The majority of sexual abuse instances involve people who are disabled or cognitively unable to give their consent.
Financial abuse occurs when someone at the nursing home tries to steal from a resident or uses manipulation to take what’s theirs. It can include preventing the resident from using their bank account, misusing power of attorney to change the resident’s will, stealing cash and credit cards, and more.
Financial abuse doesn’t cause physical damage, but it impacts the life of the resident. In some instances, it can make it impossible for them to continue paying for long-term care.
Why Hire GGL?
Having a loved one who’s gone through nursing home abuse of any kind is a harrowing experience. You may not know whom to turn to for help and whether there’s anything you can do to ease the burden of the abuse.
At Garces, Grabler & LeBrocq, our Jersey City nursing home abuse lawyers are ready to help you and your loved one get the compensation you deserve.
Whether this means getting reimbursement for medical bills that stem from an injury the person received in a nursing home or getting compensation for pain and suffering, we can help. When you turn to us, you are getting experienced personal injury lawyers who have been in business for more than 30 years.
We are here to help you win your case. This means we’ll never under-settle, and we’ll do our best to maximize your winnings by preparing each case for trial. Our team is ready to guide you through every step of the process, from assessing your case to gathering evidence and speaking to insurance companies on your behalf.
At GGL, we know that waiting for a settlement in these kinds of cases can be stressful. That’s why we keep all of our clients in the loop and communicate often.
You and your loved one could deserve compensation. Reach out to GGL today to schedule a free consultation.