New Jersey law states that the management of a nursing home is responsible for the care of its residents. They should have a written policy that confirms this and present it to you. If you’re seeing indications of nursing home negligence, you have a responsibility to your elderly loved ones to contact management and find out what’s going on. Here’s what you should do right away.
Safeguard your loved one
Get your loved one out of harm’s way if you suspect negligence or abuse. Move them from the facility if you can. If necessary, call 911.
Talk to your loved one
Question them thoroughly. Do they have feelings of fear, neglect or exploitation? Take into account that your loved one may be intimidated, afraid or confused. Don’t assume their stories and feelings aren’t valid, especially if they have a mental condition. This is a mistake many family members make.
Talk to administrators
Bring your concerns to management with any proof of nursing home negligence. The facility must have a grievance resolution process for you to follow.
Your loved one’s rights
As a nursing home resident, your loved one is entitled to certain rights. These include:
- Respect and dignity
- Means for managing their own money
- Information about their medical condition
- A space that feels like home
- Information about fees and services
- Privacy and safety
- A voice in their activities
Filing an official complaint
If you’re running into walls, your only option may be to file a complaint. An agency like the Department of Human Services can help.
Take photos of injuries, bruises and other physical evidence. Write down everything and keep a journal and documents like accident reports and your letters. Hold onto any and all evidence that substantiates your concerns of nursing home negligence.
Don’t give up
Formally request that the nursing home correct any deficiencies that hinder your loved one’s well-being and safety. Nursing home negligence is a serious issue, so keep a close eye on the goings-on with your loved ones and know their legal rights. Becoming a notable presence in your loved one’s care can help protect them from abuse.