Your New Jersey Nursing Home Neglect Lawyers

We put our trust in assisted living facilities to take good care of our loved ones. These facilities have an enormous responsibility: to care for and nurture the elderly. Unfortunately, however, there are some nursing homes where patients are not just disrespected, but downright abused.

Nursing home abuse can include physical injury, like being slapped or kicked. But it can also take forms that are harder to recognize, like psychological abuse, neglect, or even sexual abuse. Possible signs of elder abuse include things like unexplained, recurring injuries, signs of emotional trauma or changes to medication without a physician’s approval.

Nursing Home Abuse: A Growing Problem

Nursing home neglect has become a heated debate, with a complexity of issues and a visible lack of regulations to establish accountability. According to the AARP, there are about 44,000 nursing home residents in New Jersey. In 2016, there were approximately 6,600 unreported cases of nursing home neglect or abuse as required by law. These cases pertained to patients that were directly transported from a nursing facility to an emergency room. Investigators believe that many of these cases are not reported since the abused are often afraid to come forth, and in some cases, the neglect can be masked by medical conditions.

A major contributing factor of this neglect is the understaffing and overworking of nursing home staff. On a regular day, a nurse takes care of 15 to 16 elderly patients, but on a day with multiple people calling out sick or covering various floors, they tend to 20 to 25 residents alone.

Families for Better Care reported that New Jersey ranked 45th nationwide in the amount of direct care service hours per resident; with an average 2.27 hours. However, the state minimum in New Jersey is 2.5 hours. With discrepancies in time allotted to patients and their individual needs, conditions such as ulcers (bed sores) or infections may worsen, and issues with medications or the lack thereof may arise. Cases like that of Robert Gunkel, a once healthy Korean War veteran that died in the span of three months from complications arising from bed sores leading to sepsis, are part of the statistic where one out of every ten elderly will experience some form of neglect.

New Jersey is the seventh most expensive state for nursing home care. According to recent data from the 2018 Genworth Cost of Care Survey, a semi-private room is $10,646 per month compared to the national average of $7,441. With such a high cost of living, one would think the services provided would aim to be of utmost efficiency. Yet the Health Care Association of New Jersey emphasized that the quality of care should not rest solely on the number of staff, but instead on the “competency of skills and heart of the staff.” If one were to hold this statement as fact, can any one person’s competency of skill tend to the individual requirements of 20 to 30 patients, each with individual needs and conditions, whilst allotting them the 2.5 hours of care required by law?

How Can a Nursing Home Neglect Lawyer Help?

If your loved one is displaying potential signs of elder abuse, it is important to act quickly to ensure that they receive the quality care they deserve as soon as possible.

If you suspect that your loved one is being or has been mistreated at their nursing home, do not let them suffer in silence. An experienced attorney can help you navigate the situation, have your loved one transported to safer conditions and possibly negotiate a financial settlement.

Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances.

WORKS CITED:

  1.  “Nursing Home Abuse Statistics.” Elderly Care, Nursing Home Abuse Guide, www.nursinghomeabuseguide.org/nursing-home-abuse-statistics/.
  2. Sherman, Ted, and Susan K. Livio. “Who Takes Care of Mom and Dad in the Nursing Home? In N.J., the Answer Can Be Scary.” Nj.com, Nj.com, 20 July 2019, www.nj.com/news/2019/07/who-takes-care-of-mom-and-dad-in-the-nursing-home-in-nj-the-answer-is-sometimes-no-one.html.
  3. The Associated Press. “Widespread Abuse and Neglect in Nursing Facilities Frequently Go Unreported, Watchdog Says.” Nj.com, Nj.com, 12 June 2019, www.nj.com/news/2019/06/widespread-abuse-and-neglect-in-nursing-facilities-go-unreported-frequently-government-watchdog-says.html.

Discuss Your Case with Our Nursing Home Neglect Attorneys Today

All nursing home patients are entitled to dignity, care and respect. Our experienced team understands the importance of keeping your loved ones safe. We will listen to your concerns and help you figure out what course of action is best for you and your family. We may be able to help you obtain compensation for the mistreatment your loved one has suffered. Contact the attorneys of O’Connor, Parsons, Lane & Noble today to discuss nursing home malpractice, elder abuse and potential negotiations. Contact us online or call at (908) 928-9200 or 1-800-586-5817