Nursing home abuse is a growing problem in New Jersey and throughout the country, as skilled nursing facilities fail to properly screen and train employees. However, many cases of abuse go unreported because the families do not know. Here is how families can spot nursing home abuse and neglect.
Many nursing home residents are not able to articulate and describe what they have been experiencing. They may have some form of cognitive decline and cannot tell you that they are being abused. This is why you need to be on the lookout for signs of abuse and neglect. You may notice that your loved one recoils in fear when a certain staff member is around. Alternatively, they could have stopped eating and have lost weight. When it comes to neglect, pay very close attention to their appearance. If they appear unkempt and dirty, there is likely more to it. Rapid weight loss and a change in their skin tone are signs of malnutrition and dehydration.
Listen to them
If your loved one tells you anything, you should take them very seriously. They might not even make sense, but you would need help to figure out what is happening. The second they tell you something, you should report the possible abuse. This would trigger a legal obligation for the nursing home to report it to the state. Then, the state would investigate the claim to see if there really was abuse. It all starts with listening intently to your loved one and not dismissing what they say regardless of how far-fetched it may seem.
If you are in any doubt about what to do, a nursing home abuse attorney could advise you what you should be looking out for when it comes to your loved one. They have the experience to tell you about the telltale signs of abuse and could let you know where to report your concerns. Then, they may help you file a lawsuit against the nursing home if your loved one was harmed by the abuse.