10 Signs Your Loved One is Being Abused in a Nursing Home

By Greg Kohn

Abuse in nursing homes is a problem in the United States, including in New Jersey nursing homes. Vulnerable people are being abused and neglected by the people who oversee their care. Employees and operators of nursing homes have a duty to protect residents and prevent abuse and neglect.

When a nursing home resident is abused or neglected, a New Jersey nursing home abuse lawyer can help you notify law enforcement agencies and state agencies. In addition, an attorney can assist you in filing a claim for your loved one to hold the parties responsible for the abuse and neglect liable for their actions.

Types of Nursing Home Abuse

  • There are several types of nursing home abuse and neglect. While physical abuse may be discussed often as a type of nursing home abuse, you should also be aware of the other types of nursing home abuse.
  • Physical Abuse occurs when someone physically injuries a patient, such as pulling, pushing, and hitting. Neglecting the care of a patient, such as allowing a patient to lay in bed and develop bed sores, is also a form of physical abuse.
  • Emotional Abuse or psychological abuse occurs when a patient is subjected to verbal threats, yelling, and hurtful comments. Ignoring a patient is also a form of emotional abuse.
  • Financial Abuse is also common in nursing homes. Money and valuables are stolen from patients or used for the personal benefit of employees or others. Financial abuse also includes forcing or tricking a patient into signing financial documents for the benefit of that person, such as credit card applications, deeds, powers of attorney, etc.
  • Sexual Abuse may be difficult to consider, but it does occur in nursing homes. Patients may be subjected to various sexual acts without their consent.

    Common Signs of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

    Each case is different; however, some of the signs that could indicate an abuse situation include:

  • Physical injuries such as bruises, broken bones, repeated infections, STDs, bed sores, etc.
  • A resident who withdraws from family and friends or is afraid to talk about the nursing home and its staff could be subjected to physical or emotional abuse.
  • Unexplained weight loss or changes in eating habits and frequent dehydration is a symptom of abuse and neglect.
  • Begging to leave or begging someone to stay with them and becoming highly agitated and afraid when the person leaves could mean the person is being abused repeatedly by staff members, residents, or others.
  • Missing clothing, property, or other signs of theft.
  • Unexpected and unexplained hospitalizations or repeated trips to the emergency room or urgent care facility.
  • Changes in mental status or consciousness could be a sign of drugs being used to subdue patients to make them less of a “hassle” for staff.
  • Frequent falls may be an indication that staff members are not providing sufficient supervision and oversight.
  • Foul odors, dirty clothing, dirty sheets, and overflowing trash cans indicate a lack of maintenance.
  • High staff turnover could indicate a problem with management.For more information about nursing home abuse, you can visit the websites for New Jersey Long-Term Care Ombudsman, National Center on Elder Abuse, and National Institute on Aging.

Seek Help From a New Jersey Nursing Home Abuse Attorney

If you believe your loved one is being abused in a nursing home, you should notify law enforcement officials. Schedule a consultation with our New Jersey nursing home lawyers today to discuss a civil lawsuit against the nursing home and parties responsible for the abuse. Your loved one has the right to seek justice by holding responsible parties liable for damages.

About the Author
Greg Kohn is a partner at Nagel Rice and specializes in complex civil litigation cases, including professional malpractice, personal injury, class actions, wrongful death, products liability, and commercial litigation.  He has extensive experience representing clients in both state and federal court. Greg has tried many jury trials to verdict and has recovered over $50 million in settlements and verdicts in all types of personal injury matters including automobile accidents, wrongful death cases, slip and falls, and other catastrophic injury cases. Greg also handles medical malpractice cases, involving misdiagnoses, wrongful birth, and delayed cancer diagnosis. If you have questions regarding this article, you can contact Greg here.