Is My Relative Vulnerable to Nursing Home Abuse or Neglect?

Personal Injury Lawyer Trenton, NJ

Nursing home neglect and abuse can be a risk for many elderly residents who live at a nursing home facility. It can be difficult for family members to predict whether their relative may be vulnerable to such mistreatment. There are certain risks that may increase the chances of residents suffering from abuse or neglect. While these factors may be present, it not mean mistreatment is inevitable. It is just important that family members of the senior resident keep a watchful eye, and takes immediate action if abuse or neglect happens.

Q: I noticed the ratio of patient to staff is very high, is that concerning?

A: Caregiving facilities may have high turnover rates, which means there are less staff members available at any given time to assist patients. In some cases, there may be so little staff members on shift that a resident may quickly become neglected. However, it is the responsibility of the facility to hire enough caregivers to support the residents. If you are concerned your relative has not been provided every meal, is behind on proper hygiene, or has messy/old clothing on, it may be time for further investigation.

Q: Are all staff at the nursing home qualified to provide care?

A: Depending on the facility, some caregivers may have higher qualifications than others. Staff members who are under-qualified may be asked to assist a resident, due to the lack of caregivers around. A staff member who has not been trained to handle certain situations may commit abuse or neglect accidentally or out of frustration.

Q: Does the amount of visitors a resident gets matter?

A: Perhaps one of the most strategic ways to help prevent your senior relative from mistreatment, is by visiting frequently. Caregivers may not treat residents with consistent visitors the same as those who do not. The more present family members can be when it comes to their relative’s care and treatment, the more likely staff are to provide adequate care.

Q: What if my relative has dementia or alzheimer’s?

A: Residents who have trouble communicating or remembering events, may be at-risk for mistreatment. Those with dementia or alzheimer’s disease may get taken advantage of by caregivers since the resident will probably have trouble remembering what happened. Also, even if the resident does tell their loved ones about the abuse, they may not be believed if they are perceived as unreliable due to the diagnosis.

Q: What should I do if I find out my relative is being abused?

A: Before leaving the facility, take photographic evidence of how your relative has been mistreated. Whether this be a filthy living condition or unexplained physical wounds, gather proof before filing a report to the facility. The caregiving staff may try to clean up the evidence if you submit a complaint before you have a chance to document it through photographs. If you file a lawsuit against the facility with a personal injury lawyer Trenton, NJ relies on, your case depends on what evidence you bring forward to show how the abuse or neglect occurred.

Contact Davis & Brusca, LLC for their insight into personal injury cases and the vulnerability of nursing home abuse or neglect.