New Jersey Nursing Home Abuse Attorneys
Proudly serving all of New Jersey
When a senior citizen is taken advantage of, abused, or neglected by those responsible for his or her care, it is normal to feel angry and helpless. However, you have the opportunity to seek justice by holding the negligent parties accountable in a lawsuit.
The NJ injury attorneys at Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C., have dedicated more than 25 years to personal injury victims and family members of wrongful death victims. As pillars of strength for our clients as they go through a difficult time in their lives, we provide emotional support and quality legal representation. To learn more about how we can help, please call (609) 240-0040 for a no-cost consultation.
There are a variety of ways an elderly resident can be abused or taken advantage of in a nursing home setting. Loved ones need to be vigilant in watching for signs of any of the following types of abuse:
- Neglect: Neglect can range from improper care to actually denying proper care and treatment for an elderly resident. There are many forms of neglect. Dehydration and malnutrition can occur when a resident is not receiving enough water and food, either due to insufficient, poorly managed, or uncaring staff. Patients may lose weight, decline in mental clarity, or even have seizures as a result of dehydration. Physical neglect also becomes apparent when a patient begins to develop pressure ulcers called bedsores. These are the result of prolonged pressure on an area of the skin. Residents who are not being properly bathed and repositioned on a regular basis will develop these sores, which are almost always preventable with proper care.
- Improper use of restraints: Physical restraints are meant to be used to ensure a person’s safety. They can be placed on a patient to prevent a fall. However, some facilities use physical restraints when there is not enough staff to monitor patients and prevent falls. Long-term use of physical restraints can lead to pain, pressure sores, and mental suffering. Some facilities may also opt to use chemicals to restrain patients. This process of partially or fully sedating a patient is dangerous and can cause additional health and mental issues. Staff members may use sedation when a senior does not comply with requests to remain seated or in bed, or if a senior becomes agitated. Loved ones should be aware of decreased cognitive abilities, agitation, confusion, or excessive "sleep" patterns. These can all be signs that chemicals are being used as a restraint on a patient.
- Sexual assault: Limited mobility and muscle weakness make it nearly impossible for an elderly victim to escape a sexual assailant. After the abuse has occurred, the staff of the nursing home will often dismiss any allegations of sexual misconduct due to the mental capacity of the victim. In some instances, the victim has issues communicating and cannot ask for help or explain what is occurring. Loved ones may notice that a victim of sexual assault has unusual and unexplained bruising, appears agitated or gets agitated when a certain staff member is present, or appears distressed.
- Financial abuse: Financial abuse occurs more often in extended living facilities when a resident remains in control of some of his or her finances. Staff members can not only steal accessible cash or other belongings, but have also been known to exploit the goodwill of residents. Staff members will swindle residents by getting them to "invest in a great deal," or by asking for a loan or gift of money or valuable items. On a larger scale, some senior facilities have been known to operate a false billing scheme, which bills seniors for services, medications, or procedures they did not receive. Oftentimes, an elderly person who discovers the scam will be too embarrassed to seek help. Loved ones may notice that the resident is suddenly acting upset, overly quiet, or is avoiding contact completely. Offering to "assist" your elderly loved one with the task of bill-paying is a good way to monitor finances and protect from financial abuse.
Filing a claim or pursuing a lawsuit can bring the victim and family closure. It can also provide money to offset costs associated with the abuse or neglect. Taking legal action against the nursing home may also prevent further harm to other senior residents in the future. Because there are time limits, or statutes of limitation, to how long a person has to file a lawsuit in New Jersey, you should talk to a lawyer right away.
Far too often, nursing home abuse causes post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, and other forms of emotional distress to the victim. By obtaining compensation, you may receive money to help pay for counseling, rehabilitation, and more. Although no amount of money can heal psychological scars, the peace of mind in knowing the problem is resolved can be healing in itself. In addition, compensation can help the senior and his or her family pay for hospital stays, surgery fees, medication, physical therapy, and other expenses caused by nursing home abuse.
When the unthinkable happens, our New Jersey nursing home abuse death lawyers at Lependorf & Silverstein, P.C., work hard to build an effective case for a successful outcome. As we gather the evidence and carry out an investigation, we keep our clients informed. It's important to us that our clients focus on recovering while we help secure their future. For more information about how we can assist you, please get in touch with us at (609) 240-0040.
- Abuse Allegations Hit New Jersey Nursing Home
- New Jersey Adult Protective Services (APS)
- Nursing Home Care Info from the CDC
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