When you make the difficult decision to move a family member into a nursing home, you should be able to trust that the facility will provide compassionate, attentive care. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse and neglect can occur at even the most respected facilities with otherwise spotless track records.
According to a recent oped column by the New York Times, despite safeguards put in place to ensure quality care, federal laws fail to hold any nursing homes responsible for their patients’ wellbeing. Elder abuse is still a serious issue in this country and nursing home neglect is easily overlooked.
If you believe a loved one is suffering from nursing home abuse in the Jersey City or Newark areas, you will need an experienced nursing home abuse lawyer who can guide you through the complex legal process. For more than 26 years, Jersey City attorney Anthony Carbone has been helping clients throughout New Jersey with their nursing home neglect and elder abuse cases. We have the experience and the knowledge needed to help your loved one and hold the responsible parties accountable for their actions.
What is Nursing Home Abuse?
Legal cases against nursing homes typically fall under the categories of:
- Abuse – such as physical assault or the willful deprivation of food, drink and medication
- Neglect — such as a failure to prevent conditions such as bed sores or not properly monitoring patients with special needs
- Medical Malpractice — such as a healthcare provider prescribing incorrect medication or improperly diagnosing a condition
- Theft or Financial Exploitation — this can include identity theft, stealing personal possessions, or financial fraud
The negligent behavior itself can take many forms, from mental cruelty to physical abuse to financial manipulation. Some common types of nursing home abuse and neglect are:
- Failure to prevent dehydration or malnutrition
- Lack of adequate care for existing medical conditions
- Lack of assistance in maintaining personal hygiene
- Failure to provide sanitary living conditions
- Sexual assault
- Assault and battery
- Unlawful imprisonment or restraint
- Verbal and emotional abuse
- Deceit to gain access to finances
- Slip and fall injuries caused by nursing home negligence
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
As of 2003, it was estimated that between 1 and 2 million Americans age 65 or older had been injured, exploited or mistreated by a caregiver, according to a federal report cited by the NCEA. Accurate figures on nursing home abuse, however, are difficult to maintain because many instances go undocumented.
Many nursing home residents are unable or unwilling to report nursing home abuse and neglect. If you have a loved one in a nursing home or assisted-living facility, it’s important to watch for signs of abuse and neglect including:
- Unexplained injuries such as cuts or bruises
- Inadequate medical attention, including poor wound dressings or improper dispensing of medication
- Lack of adequate food and drink
- Unusual behavior
- Unsanitary conditions
- Changes in physical appearance, such as sudden weight loss
If your family member complains of abuse or neglect, or if you see symptoms of nursing home abuse and neglect, you should contact Hudson County nursing home neglect attorney Anthony Carbone as soon as possible.
Causes of Nursing Home Abuse
There is no acceptable explanation for nursing home abuse and neglect, but there are a number of conditions that contribute to its sad reality. Causes of nursing home abuse and neglect include:
- Staff shortages
- Inadequately trained staff
- Negligent hiring practices
- Unsafe premises or inadequately maintained facilities (such as loose handrails or unclean conditions)
For the safety of your family member and others in a nursing home or assisted-living facility, you should act quickly if you suspect abuse. If you believe a loved one is suffering from nursing home abuse, contact the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone to schedule a consultation with our Jersey City nursing home abuse lawyer today.