New Jersey Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer
When elderly, frail loved ones suffer abuse or neglect at the hands of a nursing home, a New Jersey Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer can help. Sadly, thousands of elderly residents suffer abuse each year in these types of facilities.
The National Center for Victims of Crime (NCVC) found that nearly 10,000 nursing home patients filed complaints about abuse. The pie graph below shows the breakdown of the reported abuse.
Obviously, not every case of nursing home abuse gets reported, so its likely that abuse prevalence is even higher. Residents with certain characteristics have a higher risk of abuse. Women, nursing home residents with little funds, and those with poor physical and mental health are more likely to be abused. In fact, the National Center on Elder Abuse reports that almost 50% of older adults with dementia have suffered abuse.
Nursing Home Staff and Abuse
Nursing home staff are common culprits of nursing home abuse, according to a New Jersey nursing home abuse lawyer. A World Health Organization study in 2020 found that almost 65% of staff admitted to committing abuse or neglect within the past year. In this study, staff attributed stress due to staffing shortages and time pressures as a main reason for committing abuse. There was a significant correlation between abuse and a low RN to resident staffing ratios.
Nursing Home Residents and Abuse
A nursing home has the responsibility to protect residents from abuse. This also applies when the abuser is another resident. These incidents can be physical, sexual, or verbal and often cause physical or emotional harm. In some cases, the resident perpetrator may have a disease, such as dementia or another mental health diagnosis, that affects their behavior. However, all residents have the right to be protected from abuse, regardless of the perpetrator’s abilities to understand it. The facility is responsible to keep residents safe. If abuse does occur, the facility must report it to the police, the facility’s licensing authority, and the resident’s responsible party.
Environments Factors Leading to Abuse
Abuse can happen to any resident, but certain environmental factors can increase the risk. Poor quality nursing homes that lack necessary resources can put elders at risk. Some of these facilities choose to understaff to minimize their expenses. This can lead to employee stress and burnout that results in elder abuse. Employees with negative attitudes often don’t treat residents with the care and respect that they deserve.
Under-reporting of Nursing Home Abuse
The National Center for Victims of Crime found that for every case of elder abuse that is reported, 24 case are not. That is a staggering statistic that should worry every person who has a loved one in a nursing home. A New Jersey nursing home abuse lawyer cites several reasons for the lack of reporting. First, nursing home residents often have physical or mental impairments, such as deafness, dementia, or limited vision that make it difficult to properly report the abuse or identify the perpetrators. Secondly, many residents fear retaliation. They worry that the abuser may find out about the report and hurt them again even worse. It is crucial for loved ones of nursing home residents to frequently check on their well-being and report any suspicions of abuse immediately.
Who do I report abuse to?
If you suspect abuse, reporting is essential to help ensure your loved one is safe. You should report it to the following authorities:
A New Jersey nursing home abuse lawyer can be a valuable resource for residents who have suffered abuse at an elder care facility. Our team specializes in these types of cases, so we know how to properly investigate them and hold facilities accountable for their actions. Call us today for a free consultation and find out if you can make a claim.