PATIENT ABUSE AND NEGLECT
Notice I didn’t limit the headline to say Nursing Home Abuse. That’s because any patient who is vulnerable, whether due to age, physical or mental status, consciousness or mobility, can be a victim. It can be a 90 year old woman in a nursing home, or a 19 year old brain-injured war veteran in a hospital or rehabilitation facility who is a victim. The abuse or neglect can occur at:
-Brain Injury Rehabilitation Facilities
- I/C/U and Critical Care Units of Hospitals
-Home-Health Care Workers
Patient’s and their families trust, as they should, that the facility or person entrusted with their loved one will act in the patient’s best interest. Unfortunately, many times the care, quality and compassion of the treatment patients receive is far less than we would expect, or is required, and patients suffer physical, psychological or emotional abuse. The Nursing Home Bill of Rights sets standards for the treatment patients and their families can expect. Detailed record keeping, as well as a detailed care plan, are required to be maintained by the nursing home. Any violation of these requirements may be investigated. Nursing home premises must also be safe from physical hazards. As such, nursing homes should have safe walking surfaces, appropriate food preparation and the ability to safely transfer patients. But, what about patients in other facilities? I believe that all vulnerable patients should be entitled to the same protections, and there are ways to hold a facility or healthcare worker responsible for abuse and neglect.
Types of Abuse (not an exhaustive list) :
Changes to a Patient’s Will
Failure to Assist at Mealtime
Failure to Assist in Activities
Ignorance and/or Neglect
Improper Administration of Medication
Improper Bed Positioning
Withholding Food, Drink or Medications
Possible Signs Of Abuse And Neglect
Change in Personality
Decline in Physical or Mental Status
Medication Overdose or Reaction
Visits to an Emergency Room
Below, I’ve attached a very informative article about Nursing Home Abuse. However, even if a person isn’t elderly or in a nursing home, they have similar rights and similar ways to file complaints and claims. Usually, due to the patient’s mental or physical status, it is a family member who acts on the patient’s behalf. If you suspect your relative is being mistreated in a hospital, nursing home, home-health provider or other health care facility, report the suspected abuse to the New Jersey Department of Health and contact our office for a free consultation.
All the Best!
Randy C. Redden
(856) 448-6200/ (888) 641-3434