When you place a loved one in a nursing home, you expect them to get the care and attention they need to thrive. Unfortunately, our elderly loved ones are all too susceptible to neglect and abuse in assisted living facilities. Nursing home negligence by doctors and staff can result in bedsores, malnutrition, dehydration, infections, falls, severe medical complications and even death. If you see a loved one suffering from elder abuse, you need to report nursing home abuse immediately. Start by contacting nursing home abuse lawyers to learn how to go through all the proper legal channels, and ensure you loved one’s legal rights remain protected.
What to look for in a nursing home
Preventing nursing home abuse starts with finding the right facility for your loved one. Look for a clean, well-lit location that offers amenities and a friendly, professional staff. Health care professionals in a nursing home must ensure patients’ physical, mental and emotional needs are met, so take a good examination of the staff on duty to make sure they are meeting the standard of care.
Nursing home staff should make certain:
- Every patient has access to medical care
- Prescriptions are properly administered
- Meals are served and the patient is fed when necessary
- The patient consumes adequate amount of fluids
While the state of New Jersey has strict laws in place regarding nursing home care, there are nursing homes that do not meet optimal standards. Check the rating of a nursing home before admitting your family member. You should also check the history of complaints that a facility has received so you can make the best decision for your loved one. Nursing home abuse lawyers can help you resolve problems before they start by helping you choose the right facility.
Nursing home abuse and neglect: signs and symptoms
Nursing home negligence can involve verbal, emotional, physical, mental or sexual abuse. Exploitation, in which the elderly person’s funds are taken illegally or misused, can also be part of the problem. Many nursing home patients won’t speak up and tell family members about what is happening, so it is necessary for you to visit frequently and watch for any signs that the patient is being mistreated.
Signs of nursing home abuse and neglect include:
- Unexplained bruising
- Bed sores or skin ulcerations
Ignoring the needs of the patient can result in the patient suffering falls or getting bed sores and ulcerations. Sometimes a patient may need to be fed his or her meals, and failure to ensure this happens may result in malnutrition and dehydration. There are situations in which nursing home staff emotionally and verbally abuses patients, treating them disrespectfully, mocking them, cursing them and making fun of them. In these situations, the patient may become withdrawn and depressed.
Report nursing home abuse to protect the elderly
If you notice any signs of elder abuse, you need to contact the nursing home administrator and the proper state authorities. In New Jersey, that may include Adult Protective Services, New Jersey Department of Health, Senior Services Division, and/or the New Jersey Division of Aging and Community Services. Individuals wishing to report suspected elder mistreatment occurring in the home should visit the New Jersey Adult Protective Service Providers to contact specific county offices directly.
The most effective route to take is to speak with nursing home abuse lawyers who can direct you through the proper channels – and ensure your loved one is properly compensated for his or her suffering. Nursing home negligence attorneys make sure the abuse your loved one is experiencing stops immediately and work to prevent other residents from suffering from similar situations.
If you have a family member who has fallen victim to elder abuse, consult with an experienced nursing home negligence attorney today.