Elder abuse is a common problem throughout the United States. According to the National Council on Aging (NCOA), elder abuse happens in the following ways:
- Neglect; and
Most elderly individuals residing in a skilled nursing facility are unable to advocate on their own behalf or are afraid of speaking up. If you have a family member or loved one in a New Jersey skilled nursing facility, here are some signs of elder abuse:
- Isolation from others;
- Fear of staff members;
- Cuts, bruises, broken bones, and other unexplained physical injuries;
- Restraint marks;
- Arguments between the elderly patient and a staff member;
- Vaginal or rectal bleeding;
- Rapid weight loss; and
- Poor hygiene.
In an effort to combat nursing home abuse and neglect, New Jersey lawmakers have introduced a bill to help decrease the number of nursing home neglect cases as a result of under-staffing. The bill will seek to increase the ratio of health aides to patients. Increasing the number of certified aides will allow nurses to concentrate on taking residents vitals and administering medication, while health aides will provide daily bathing, dressing and feeding in order to improve patient care and safety.
According to the National Committee for the Prevention of Elder Abuse (NCPEA), elder abuse can be devastating to a victim, causing them to lose their independence, health, dignity, and security, among other harms. If you believe your loved on is a victim of elder abuse, contact the authorities immediately. In addition, employees of nursing homes in New Jersey are required to notify the local police department within hours of a suspected claim of abuse, as well as the Office of the Ombudsman for the Institutionalized Elderly (OOIE). If employees or the nursing facility fail to do so, the employee and facility will be held legally responsible. It is worth noting that the OOIE has a 24-hour complaint hotline.
If your loved one has been a victim of abuse as a result of institutionalized negligence, contact a New Jersey elder abuse and neglect attorney. The attorneys at Richard P. Rinaldo, Esq are skilled elder abuse and personal injury lawyers, who will fight for the justice and compensation your loved one deserves. Please contact us today at 908-352-2500 to schedule a free initial consultation.