Many of us take the holidays to spend extra time with our loved ones who live in nursing homes, including sometimes bringing our loved ones to visit with us at home for a few days over the holidays. Although the holiday season is often a hectic time and you may be excited for spending quality time with your loved one, it is also an opportunity to look out for signs of abuse or neglect that your loved one may be suffering in their nursing home. 

Read more: Will Nursing Homes Be Different Post-Coronavirus?

Signs to Look for During Your Visit

Examples of signs and symptoms of possible nursing home abuse and neglect include:

  • Emotional withdrawal, especially if your loved one shows no interest in celebrating the holidays and this is out of character for your loved one
  • Anxiety, fear, or nervousness of being left alone, being left at the nursing home, or being left in the presence of certain staff members
  • Bruises, bedsores, or other unexplained injuries, or injuries in various stages of healing
  • Dirty or torn clothing, or poor hygiene
  • Unclean or unmaintained living conditions, including unwashed bedding or uncleaned stains or spills

Although abuse and neglect can occur at any time of the year, the holidays can create the perfect conditions for abuse and neglect, as nursing home staff deal with their own personal pressures during the holidays, or a nursing home relies on temporary staffing to cover for vacationing regular staff.

What to Do If You Suspect Your Loved One Has Been Harmed in a Nursing Home

If you believe that your loved one is the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, there are steps you can take to help protect him or her and his or her legal rights:

  • If you believe that your loved one is in imminent danger of injury or death, you can always contact law enforcement to intervene to protect your loved one’s safety
  • If you suspect abuse and/or neglect at your loved one’s nursing home, you can begin with bringing your concerns to the attention of the facility’s management; if abuse or neglect is being caused by certain staffers, the facility can take steps to correct the situation and make a safer environment for your loved one and other residents.
  • If you suspect that the nursing home managers know of or participate in the abuse or neglect, you can also file a formal complaint with the New Jersey Department of Health; complaints can be filed online, by fax, or by mail, or you can submit an anonymous complaint by phone at 1-800-792-9770.

Read more: What Nursing Home Workers Should Be Doing To Prevent Covid-19 Spread

How Long Do You Have to File a Lawsuit for Nursing Home Injuries?

In New Jersey, the statute of limitations places a time limit on filing a lawsuit for compensation on behalf of a loved one who may have been the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect. The statute of limitations for nursing home abuse and neglect that leads to personal injury or wrongful death of a resident is two years from the date of the resident’s injury (or date of last injury for ongoing abuse or neglect) or date of the resident’s death. This time period may be extended in limited circumstances. 

Read more: What Should I Do If I Believe My Parent Is A Victim Of Nursing Home 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 201-231-7847 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a 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.