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The elderly have cared for their children and grandchildren for many years. Now, it is time for them to be cared for in their golden years. However, this does not always happen in society. Many nursing home residents are abused or mistreated by staffers in these facilities.
Many times, the elderly living in nursing homes may not realize they are being abused. Family members and friends need to be their voice and report the crime. If you know of someone or have a loved one, who is being abused in a nursing home, you should contact a Camden nursing home abuse lawyer immediately. A qualified personal injury attorney can help you pursue damages.
Definition of Elderly Abuse
Elder abuse is the mistreatment of the elderly by someone who is entrusted to care for or look after them. It can be any intentional act that causes harm, injury, or serious risk of harm to the victim.
In some cases, it does not have to be intentional, but negligent behavior that leads to harm or risk of harm to an older person. When a caregiver does not provide for the basic needs of a nursing home patient or resident, they can be charged with elderly abuse. Nursing home abuse in Camden can happen in a variety of forms.
Types of Abuse
- Sexual abuse – Unwanted sexual contact that may include the use of force, threats, or taking advantage of an elderly person who does not have the clarity of mind to say no
- Physical abuse – utilizing physical force, hitting, slapping, or punching an elderly person
- Verbal and psychological abuse -using words to frighten, intimidate, disrespect, or humiliate an elderly individual
- Financial abuse or exploitation – illegally taking control of an aging person’s finances or property utilizing coercion, theft, forgery or other deceptive tactics
- Neglect – failing to properly care for a disabled elder person, which may include not providing food, water, medications, or medical and personal care
Warning Signs of Nursing Home Abuse
Family members need to be vigilant and recognize the warning signs of potential elderly abuse, which may include:
- Unexplained bruises, scars, or other injuries
- Changes in a person’s character or behavior
- Signs that indicate a restraint has occurred
- A caregiver not allowing family to visit
- Unexplained weight loss
- Changes in eating habits
- Unattended medical conditions or bedsores
- Unexplained sexual transmitted diseases or infections
- Arguments between the caregiver and person being cared for
- Changes in the elderly’s financial accounts
- Unclean living conditions
- Changes in the power of attorney or wills
Nursing Home and Elderly Abuse Laws
The Nursing Home Reform Act of 1987 requires long-term care facilities that obtain Medicare or Medicaid payments to uphold certain standards of care for those in their care. The Nursing Home Reform Act established certain rights for nursing home residents, which include:
- The right to freedom from abuse, mistreatment, and neglect
- The right to freedom from physical restraints
- The right to privacy
- The right to accommodation of medical, physical, psychological, and social needs
- The right to participate in resident and family groups
- The right to be treated with dignity
- The right to exercise self-determination
- The right to communicate freely
- The right to participate in the review of one’s care plan, and to be fully informed in advance about any changes in care, treatment, or change of status in the facility
- The right to voice grievances without discrimination or reprisal
New Jersey Law mandates that individuals who are 60 years of age or older are protected under elder abuse statutes. One can be charged with endangering the welfare of the elderly if the individual has the legal authority to care for the person suffering from a mental, physical, or emotional disability and fails to do so.
Furthermore, one can be charged with endangering the welfare of the elderly if they fail to allow someone else to properly care for the physical and mental needs of a disabled elderly individual.
A Camden nursing home abuse lawyer can explain these laws and help your file a lawsuit to punish the perpetrators of the inhuman crime of elder abuse.
Contact a Camden County Nursing Home Attorney
Most seniors have worked hard throughout their lives, and they deserve to be treated with respect in nursing homes and other senior care facilities. If your loved one is experiencing elder abuse in any form, contact a caring and supportive Camden nursing home abuse lawyer.
The lawyer will work diligently to bring justice and dignity to your aging parent, friend, or family member. Be an advocate for them, and call a Camden nursing home abuse lawyer.