Signs of Nursing Home Abuse/Neglect

Unfortunately, the quality of care rendered in nursing homes across the country oftentimes falls below acceptable standards. This is especially troubling considering the mental, emotional and physical vulnerabilities of many nursing home residents. Unless family members identify the signs of mistreatment, the abuse typically goes undetected and thus, unaddressed. In addition to the obvious signs of neglect such as bone fractures and bed sores, there may be other, more subtle signs that should raise suspicion. Examples include:

  • unusual bruising or bleeding
  • burns and abrasions
  • sudden and unexplained change in weight
  • soiling, poor hygiene, smell of urine or feces
  • infections
  • loss of hair
  • torn, stained, or bloody clothing or bedding
  • listlessness or unresponsiveness
  • infantile or other strange behaviors
  • physical or emotional withdrawal
  • disappearance of personal items
  • sudden and unusual financial transactions

Nursing home workers are too often low-paid, overworked, and poorly trained. Many times the abuse can be traced back to institutional greed and a greater concern for the bottom line. If you suspect abuse of a family member in a nursing home setting, a prompt investigation is critical to preserve potential claims against the facility. Nursing homes, assisted living centers and long-term health care facilities are strictly regulated. The New Jersey Nursing Home Residents’ Bill of Rights addresses concerns such as:

  • violation of residents’ rights or dignity
  • physical, verbal or mental abuse, deprivation of services necessary to maintain residents’ physical and mental health or unreasonable confinement
  • poor quality of care, including inadequate personal hygiene and slow response to requests for assistance
  • improper transfer or discharge
  • inappropriate use of chemical or physical restraints
  • financial exploitation

See the New Jersey Nursing Home Residents’ Bill of Rights for a complete listing of your family member’s rights. If you suspect a violation, contact RAM Law for a free consultation and case review.

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