New Jersey Nursing Homes have state and federal guidelines they must follow regarding the proper care and treatment of their residents. It is important to speak up when you witness subpar care upon visiting loved ones at a nursing home. Deficiencies by staff members could cause serious medical health issues that may lead to a declining quality of life and in some cases even death.
Federal nursing home laws protect the residents of nursing homes to make certain they attain mental, physical and psychosocial well-being while living in a care facility, and address operational and staffing requirements to make certain residents have support they need while receiving adequate care. The Nursing Home Reform Act under Title IV: of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987 created uniform guidelines for long-term care facilities receiving federal Medicaid and Medicare funding that grant all nursing home residents the rights to maintain and receive adequate nutrition, personal hygiene, mental and emotional support, and social involvement. Those who are incapable of daily living activities such as grooming and using the restroom are entitled to personalized care from nursing home staff.
Nursing home abuse.
Nursing home abuse covers acts that inflict injury, unreasonable confinement, intimidation or punishment with the result of physical harm or pain or mental anguish, or deprivation by an individual, including a caretaker, of goods or services that are necessary to attain or maintain physical, mental and psychosocial well-being as well as acts of negligence or unintentional abuse that cause or exacerbate existing health conditions. You may be witnessing Physical neglect in your aunt’s care, a type of abuse that may or may not be intentional, perhaps as a result of not enough staff or supplies at a nursing home. Resident’s cleanliness, availability of food, clothing and surrounding sanitary environment that diminish human dignity are signs to look for and overlap with physical abuse of malnutrition and dehydration.
Violation of resident rights could lead to punitive damages.
Nursing homes may be liable for negligence in care, negligence in hiring/firing staff, and/or negligence in training staff on policies/procedures such as reporting accidents and injuries. Residents or families can sue for monetary compensation for an injury resulting from abuse, neglect, or accidents such as a fall from a bed accident and receive punitive damages for intentional misconduct or gross negligence.
Report nursing home or elder abuse in New Jersey.
In New Jersey, you can file a complaint with Adult Protective Services by contacting your county office or calling the statewide hotline at 609-588-6501. When your county receives word of possible abuse, the APS office assigns the case to a trained social worker. This social worker will meet with the senior to look into your complaint within 72 hours.
The New Jersey Office of the Ombudsman for the Institutionalized Elderly may also investigate your claim. Their focus is on seniors over age 60 who live in nursing homes or other similar facilities. You can reach the office by calling 1-877-582-6995.
The NJ Division of Health Facilities Evaluation and Licensing sets regulations and oversees operation of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. In some cases, abuse also warrants an investigation into the licensing of the facility. You can reach the office by calling the reporting hotline at 1-800-792-9770.
Call an attorney.
If you have personally experienced nursing home abuse, or are a family member of someone who has, you should contact The Law Offices of Stuart M. Nachbar, who will hold the nursing home and care facilities responsible for the damages that come from abuse or neglect.
354 Eisenhower Parkway, Suite 2025
PO Box 2205 Livingston NJ 07039
Phone: (973) 567-0954 Fax: (973) 629-1294