Nursing home abuse is an ongoing problem. Hundreds of thousands of American senior citizens fall victim to some form of neglect or abuse each year, yet it is a problem that rarely sees the light of day on the news. If your loved one is the victim of nursing home abuse, you have the right to compensation under New Jersey law. Here is what you should know about nursing home liability claims.
Nursing Home Abuse
Nursing home abuse often goes unnoticed, despite some consistent and worrisome signs being present. Here are some of the most common signs of nursing home abuse:
Physical abuse is purposefully implementing physical force onto someone that can subsequently result in bodily injuries, pain and/or impairment. It is easier to pinpoint physical abuse, as one can look for bruises, scratches, marks, and bumps. The various ways an elderly person can be physically abused in a nursing home include, but are not limited to:
- Pushing a patient
- Hitting a patient
- Pinching a patient
- Not changing a patient’s undergarments or clothing
- Force-feeding a patient
It’s also crucial to know the signs that your loved one is being physically abused. These signs can include:
- A patient telling you they are the victim of abuse
- Visible bodily injuries, such as bruises, marks or scratches
- Open cuts or wounds
- The patient trying to – or asking to – spend more time with their family
- Broken personal items, such as dentures or glasses
A nursing home caregiver can also emotionally abuse the patient in a way that inflicts emotional pain or distress on your loved one, whether it is with verbal or nonverbal acts. Some examples of emotional abuse include:
- Screaming – or yelling – at the patient
- Ignoring or isolating a patient
- Trying to embarrass the patient
- Insulting a patient
- Bullying or harassing a patient
Make sure to take notes of potential emotional abuse your loved one is experiencing at his or her nursing home. Signs of emotional abuse are:
- The patient is easily angered.
- A sharp change in personality, such as being quieter or isolating themselves.
- Behaviors that are regressive, like sucking on his or her thumb, or rocking back and forth.
Nursing Home Residents Rights
Senior citizens in the State of New Jersey are protected under the law through the Nursing Home Residents’ Bill of Rights. Under this legislation, nursing home residents have the right to manage their own financial affairs, phone access, privacy, managing their own treatment (including the hiring of a personal physician at their own expense or under a health care plan), and the right to refuse medication. They also have:
“The right to a safe and decent living environment and considerate and respectful care that recognizes the dignity and individuality of the resident, including the right to expect and receive appropriate assessment, management and treatment of pain as an integral component of that person’s care consistent with sound nursing and medical practices.”
If this right or any of the other rights listed under NJSA 30:13-5 are denied then it is a violation of New Jersey law. Any resident who believes these or their families rights have been violated, can take the nursing home to court and seek compensation.
If you believe your loved one is the victim of nursing home abuse or their nursing home has been negligent in the duty of care, seek expert legal guidance right away. Make sure you speak with an experienced New Jersey personal injury attorney today at the Law Offices of James C. DeZao, P.A. Our firm is here to assist you with your case and help you claim the compensation you rightly deserve. Call us today at (973) 358-6134 for a free consultation.