Q & A: Nursing Home Personal Injuries

Q: What is Elder Abuse?

A: Elder abuse refers to any knowing, intentional, or negligent act by a caregiver or any other person that causes harm or a serious risk of harm to a vulnerable adult.

In New Jersey, this can mean:

  • Abandonment: Deserting an elderly person when one has assumed the responsibility of caring for him or her
  • Emotional Abuse: Inflicting mental pain, anguish, or distress on an elderly person via verbal or non-verbal communications or acts
  • Exploitation: Illegally taking, misusing, or concealing an elderly person’s funds, property, or assets
  • Neglect: Refusal or failure by those responsible to provide food, shelter, health care or protection for an elderly person.
  • Physical Abuse: Inflicting, or threatening to inflict, physical pain or injury on an elderly person or depriving him or her of a basic need
  • Sexual Abuse: Non-consensual sexual contact of any kind with an elderly person

Q: What are some of the causes of nursing home personal injuries?

A: Many nursing homes have poorly qualified, inadequately trained, or inexperienced staff. Sometimes they even hire staff that has a history of acting violently toward others. Quite often, nursing home abuse is caused by understaffed facilities run by people who care more about making money off of their residents than taking care of them.

Q: What signs should I look for?

A: As a general rule of thumb, weird or sudden changes in the physical or mental health of your loved one should be construed as red flags.

Along with unexplained changes, any of the follow signs are worth investigating:

  • Bedsores
  • Falls
  • Malnutrition
  • Being kept in an over-medicated state
  • Staff refusing or delaying visitation
  • Unexpected death
  • Unexplained injuries
  • Unexplained venereal disease, genital infections, vaginal or anal bleeding, or torn/stained/bloody undergarments
  • Unsanitary conditions

Q: What legal rights do nursing home patients have?

A: Remember, you paid good money to have your loved one taken care of. Consequently, the law provides them with a several rights that cannot be infringed.

The following is a non-exhaustive list of them:

  • Privacy
  • Reasonable access to health and legal services
  • To be free from corporal punishment, seclusion, and physical as well as chemical restraints
  • To be free from verbal, sexual, physical, and mental abuse
  • To be transferred or discharged only for medical reasons
  • To be treated courteously, fairly, and with the fullest measure of dignity
  • To receive adequate and appropriate health care

If any of these rights have been infringed, it is highly likely that nursing home abuse (in one form or another) took place.

Q: Who Should I Contact?

A: If you or a loved one were victimized in a nursing home and suffered personal injuries(either physical or emotional) as a result, contact Adam H. Rosenblum of The Rosenblum Law Firm. His team of NJ personal injury attorneys will do everything they can to ensure that you get justice. E-mail or call 973-594-6552 today.