Residents in nursing homes have the right to dignity and an abuse-free environment. Sadly, many elders face neglect and abuse in nursing homes. It’s an under-reported problem, but there are ways to stop it if you know the signs of nursing home abuse.
With the guidance of a Clifton nursing home abuse attorney at Morelli Law Firm, we can help you or your loved one get compensation for what happened to them. You may also be able to remove an abuser from a home and save the dignity and even the lives of the residents.
If You Suspect Nursing Home Abuse…
The first priority in any abuse case is to make sure the victim is safe. If you discover severe neglect or injury, or fear for the life of your loved one, call 911. The police will investigate the matter and your loved one could get protection orders or get moved to another facility.
Next, if it’s possible, take photos of any injuries or neglectful conditions you see in the nursing home. If the nursing home does not allow this, note this policy as well. Then, contact a nursing home abuse lawyer and share your story.
Your lawyer can tell you if you have a valid case. Even if what happened does not rise to the level of a civil lawsuit, there are still steps you can take to stop it from getting worse. One of these ways is to work with the New Jersey Long-Term Ombudsman program.
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How Working With the Ombudsman Helps Us With Your Case
An ombudsman is someone with the authority to investigate complaints against an institution, like nursing homes. If a family or a resident has a problem with abuse, neglect, or exploitation, they can lodge a formal complaint.
Once a case is opened through them, an investigator will arrive at the facility unannounced and speak with the resident to get consent to proceed with the case. If consent is given, they have the authority to get records and interview staff and witnesses. If the complaint is verified or they discover further problems, the facts will get forwarded to authorities and regulators for further action.
We can also obtain that evidence for your lawsuit. Ignoring the requests of an investigator from the long-term ombudsman program is a serious violation. You may be interested in reading the Nursing Home Resident Rights section of their website.
Signs of Neglect, the Most Common Form of Abuse
Nursing home neglect is the failure to meet the basic needs of residents. The National Center for Victims of Crimes states that around 15% of elder abuse complaints in nursing homes are for neglect issues.
Negligent hiring practices, understaffing, and poor training all contribute to neglect in nursing homes. Some typical neglectful behaviors include:
- Not giving medication when needed
- Improper facilities to care for medical conditions
- Failing to move seniors so that they don’t get bedsores
- Not reporting infections and illnesses
- Failure to provide assistive devices to help residents move
- Isolating vulnerable residents by accident
- Unclean areas, or areas with poor temperature regulation
- Unsafe or inadequate food and water
- Neglect of hygiene needs
Getting evidence of neglect can be hard to detect, but our nursing home abuse lawyers know ways to get testimony and other evidence to prove it. With our nursing home abuse lawyers in Clifton, you may be able to prove neglect and help your loved one get compensation for what happened to them.
Be Wary of Financial Elder Abuse
A rising form of abuse for people in nursing homes is financial elder abuse. People with memory issues or dementia can be vulnerable to financial scams. Whether it’s a staff member getting access to bank cards or trying to obtain a financial power of attorney, the results can be devastating.
By the time people enter nursing homes, most of their assets go toward their care. Even losing a little can make a resident anxious and depressed. In extreme cases, residents may even be forced to leave the home.
Talking with an estate planner can give you strategies to guard against financial elder abuse. There should also be at least one trusted person in the family who can inspect accounts for irregular transactions. If you do discover financial abuse, our lawyers can help you sue the person who took the money.
Get Help for Your Loved One Today
Residents of nursing homes deserve to live their final years full of dignity. If someone violates that dignity through neglect or abuse, contact Morelli Law Firm. Our Clifton nursing home abuse lawyers will help you fight the problem. Call us or email us for a free consultation.