Mercer County Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
It is often a very difficult decision to place a loved one in a nursing home, but it may be necessary to ensure their safety and meet their daily needs. However, while Mercer County has many high-quality and safe nursing homes, there are also unfortunate instances of abuse that happen within some of these residences.
It is important for both nursing home residents and their family members to know that when nursing home abuse occurs, the law will be on their side. An experienced attorney could help families claim compensation for the abuse and advise them on the next steps to take towards removing their loved one from the facility. Speak with a Mercer County nursing home abuse lawyer to learn more.
What Are the Nursing Home Laws in Mercer County?
Mercer County has some of the toughest laws in the country regarding nursing homes, the staff that works within them, and the elderly that reside there. These laws, outlined in the New Jersey Nursing Home Responsibilities and Residents Rights Act, include licensing requirements, inspection schedules, and regulations detailing the responsibilities of nursing homes and the rights of their residents.
A qualified Mercer County nursing home abuse lawyer will be familiar with all these laws and could identify when a nursing home has not abided by them. If such negligence by the nursing home staff causes harm to a resident, an experienced attorney could also help get the elder or their loved ones the compensation they may deserve.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
While there are many types of nursing home abuse in Mercer County, it is not always easy to identify when it is happening. In most cases, elders do not want to talk about it because they are ashamed or embarrassed, or because they are simply not aware that it is happening. This can make it even more difficult for both the elder and their family members.
Physical and Sexual Abuse
Physical abuse occurs when an elder has been hit, punched, slapped, burned, shaken, or even force-fed in a nursing home.
Any unwanted touching by a staff member can be considered sexual abuse, as can forcing a capable elder to get dressed in front of them. In most cases, any type of sexual activity may be considered sexual abuse, as elders often do not have the mental or institutional capacity to give consent.
Emotional and Financial Abuse
Emotional abuse can be verbal, such as when a staff member yells at a resident or speaks harshly to them, or psychological abuse, such as when a staff member tries to manipulate an elder. Keeping an elder in a confined area, such as in their bed, for a long period of time can also be considered emotional abuse.
Emotional manipulation can sometimes take the form of a person on staff stealing from an elder, or convincing them to give them money, credit cards, or bank cards. Withholding access to the elder’s bank account is another form financial abuse can take.
An elder suffering from neglect is not having their daily needs attended to, including food, shelter, proper clothing, and hygiene. While neglect may be intentional, such as when a staff member is simply avoiding taking care of someone or shirking their duties, it can also be unintentional, often due to understaffing. Either way, neglect should never happen, and nursing homes in Mercer County can be held accountable for it.
What are the Potential Signs of Abuse and Neglect?
Abuse and neglect often present physically on nursing home residents in the form of bedsores, injuries from unexplained falls, sudden weight loss, extremely dry skin or other signs of dehydration, unsanitary living conditions, improper grooming and poor hygiene, or infections. Residents may also suddenly withdraw from other family members, and even try to limit visits with their loved one.
These are all signs that abuse or neglect may be taking place. When family members notice them, they may need to speak to a Mercer County nursing home abuse lawyer for fast and professional help.
How a Mercer County Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Could Help
Nursing home abuse is very serious, and even with the strict laws New Jersey has set out regarding them, it can occur at any time and may take months for family members of residents to identify. If you or a loved one suffered or are suffering from nursing home abuse, call a qualified Mercer County nursing home abuse lawyer today.