In New Jersey, people who have an elderly or infirm loved one who cannot live by themselves and need more care than can be provided at home will consider a nursing home. This is a wise step as these facilities are supposed to have trained staff and medical professionals to help elderly people with their personal and medical needs.
Unfortunately, there have long been allegations of neglect, abuse and mistreatment in nursing homes. There are many ways in which this can occur. One that has recently become more prevalent in New Jersey is residents being attacked by other residents. People who are told of these incidents or believe other types of abuse and neglect are occurring must think about how to protect their loved ones and be aware of the available options to hold facilities accountable.
Nursing home attacks are on the rise
There is a litany of reports of people whose loved ones are being attacked in nursing homes. According to experts, people suffering from dementia are prone to attacking other residents. In the 2022 fiscal year, there were 456 such incidents. That is over 200 more than there were in the 2021 fiscal year.
The real numbers might even be higher as nursing homes are relied on to report these attacks and other problems themselves. From the start of October through the end of February, there were 189 cases reported to the Office of the State Long-Term Care Ombudsman. This is up from 159 the previous year.
Abuse in general has been spiking. The U.S. Government Accountability Office says that between 2013 and 2017, there were twice as many abuse cases across the nation. The staff was frequently found to be responsible for these acts. Residents assaulting other residents is a difficult issue to quantify because there is a limit as to the information that state and federal agencies have.
Another problem for these facilities is understaffing. Although facilities are expected to have a certain number of staff members, they have had trouble meeting the quota. That and the challenges with dealing with people who are suffering from conditions that might make their behavior unpredictable is an ongoing problem that is putting people in danger.
If a loved one was injured or became ill due to nursing home negligence, help is needed
Families trust nursing homes to care for their loved ones. When that is violated, it is a betrayal that cannot be allowed to pass. People who are seeking customized help for their situation need to consider their situation and needs.
Contacting professionals who have extensive experience in investigating and pursuing legal claims for nursing home abuse and neglect is an obvious first step. There are other areas to consider such as overcoming language barriers by discussing the case with multilingual people who speak English, Spanish, Italian, Greek, Croatian and Korean.
People will undoubtedly feel as if they could have done more to protect their loved one from nursing home abuse and neglect. Often, there is no way of recognizing there is something wrong until the resident has been injured, suffered an unexpected condition or became ill. After the problem has been suspected or discovered, it is important to have assistance with deciding how to move forward. Consulting with people who care about their clients and understand how to pursue complex cases is imperative from the start.