While the holidays are the time of year when families gather to spend time with one another, for those families who have elderly loved ones in nursing homes it is harder for those loved ones to join. Some nursing home residents may be well enough to spend a day or an evening outside of the nursing home at the home of a family member. However, others may be too frail to leave the nursing home, meaning that families will go to the home to spend some time with their loved ones. 

When you are spending time this holiday season with a family member who lives in a nursing home, it is important to be on the lookout for signs of nursing home abuse. Every chance you get to see and speak with a loved one in a nursing home should be an opportunity to check on their well-being.

Types of Nursing Home Abuse

Although most people think of nursing home abuse as involving violence, abuse can take several different forms:

  • Physical abuse, such as punching, choking, kicking, pushing, slapping or other assaultive behavior
  • Emotional abuse, including belittling or yelling at a resident, threatening harm or violence, or isolating a resident or taking away their privileges
  • Sexual abuse, including rape, sexual assault, and criminal sexual contact
  • Financial abuse, including stealing money or property from a resident, or inducing or influencing a resident to make changes to financial accounts or estate planning documents to financially benefit the abuser

Signs a Loved One Has Been the Victim of Nursing Home Abuse

Signs that a nursing home resident may be suffering from abuse include:

  • Lacerations and bruising
  • Open wounds
  • Multiple injuries in various states of healing
  • Unexplained injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Restraint marks or heavy sedation
  • Torn clothing
  • Soiled bedding and unsanitary conditions
  • Poor hygiene
  • Infections
  • Malnutrition and dehydration
  • Bedsores/pressure ulcers
  • New sexually-transmitted infections
  • Withdrawal or loss of interest in activities
  • Anxiety, depression, or suicidal thoughts
  • Fear of being touched, or being easily startled
  • Fear in the presence of nursing home staff, or fear of being left alone
  • Soothing behaviors, such as rocking, mumbling, or thumb-sucking
  • Damaged or missing property from the resident’s room
  • Unexplained bank or credit card transactions
  • Unexplained changes to a resident’s financial accounts or estate planning documents

What Are Your Family’s Rights When a Loved One Has Suffered from Abuse

If you believe that a loved one has been the victim of nursing home abuse, you and your family may be entitled to pursue a legal claim to recover compensation for the harm that your family member has endured, including for:

  • Costs of medical treatment for injuries and health conditions caused by abuse, including hospitalization, surgeries, medication, physical rehab, or mental health therapy
  • Expenses to move your loved one to a new nursing home
  • Physical pain
  • Emotional trauma and distress
  • Loss of quality of life due to disabilities, scarring/disfigurement, or reduced life expectancy caused by injuries

A nursing home abuse lawyer can help your family understand your rights and options for keeping your loved one safe from further abuse.

Contact a Rochelle Park Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer to Discuss Your Case Today

Seniors in nursing homes and other care facilities deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. Additionally, nursing home staff needs to ensure that patients are safe and secure at all times. If your loved one suffered an injury, or worse, due to nursing home negligence or abuse in New Jersey, you need to speak with a qualified attorney. The experienced nursing home neglect attorneys at the Epstein Law Firm, P.A. represent clients throughout New Jersey, including Paramus, Ridgewood, Mahwah, and Englewood. Call (201) 380-7687 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a free consultation today. We have an office conveniently located at 340 West Passaic Street, Rochelle Park, NJ 07662.

The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.