Laws Protecting the Elderly from Abuse and Neglect
Nursing home neglect is a very real problem. Statistics gathered by the National Center on Elder Abuse reveal that nearly 1 in 3 U.S. nursing homes are cited for violating federal standards that could harm a resident, and that 95% of residents surveyed reported being a victim of or witness to elder neglect in a nursing home. Lance Brown & Associates, New Jersey elder neglect attorneys, is committed to putting a stop to elder neglect in New Jersey and Pennsylvania and helping victims of neglect recover compensation for their injuries.
Laws protect the elderly from nursing home neglect in New Jersey
Provisions of the New Jersey Administrative Code contain regulations covering the behavior of nursing homes, their administration and staff. These regulations are an excellent resource for understanding the types of actions which may be considered as New Jersey elder neglect. For instance, N.J.A.C. 8:39 includes standards for licensure of long-term care facilities. These standards outline mandatory rights of residents and also describe what types of activities and access to care are mandatory while also suggesting advisory activities, access to care and other issues. Guidelines for the use of restraints are also included in 8:39. N.J.A.C. 8:43 contains standards for licensure of residential health care facilities, and 8:43I requires criminal background investigations for nurse aides, personal care assistants and assisted living administrators.
Other important laws can be found in state statutes prohibiting New Jersey elder neglect. Title 30, Chapter 13 is devoted to the well-being of nursing home residents. 30:13-3 defines the responsibilities of nursing homes, including not admitting more residents than they can safely and adequately provide nursing care for, and prohibiting the isolation of a resident or use of physical restraints unless under doctor’s orders. 30:13-5 contains a resident’s bill of rights with well over a dozen distinct rights related to dignity, respect and care. Importantly, 30:13-4.2 provides a cause of action for violations of the act. This section allows a victim of nursing home elder neglect in New Jersey to sue for actual damages as well as punitive damages. In addition, a successful plaintiff can also recover attorney’s fees and costs from the nursing home responsible for the elder neglect.
You have recourse if your elderly loved one has been neglected or abused by a nursing home
Laws protecting the elderly from neglect exist at the local, state and national levels, and there are many different agencies a nursing home resident could turn to for help in the event of elder neglect, including the New Jersey Department of Health, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, and the New Jersey Office of the Ombudsman for the Institutionalized Elderly. All of these agencies will have complaint procedures and have the power to investigate complaints and take action against nursing homes guilty of elder neglect. However, government bureaucracies may take months to investigate a complaint if they get to it at all. Meanwhile, elder neglect goes on, and the residents continue to suffer.
How an elder neglect lawyer can help stop and remedy nursing home elder abuse or neglect
Having a lawyer intervene on your behalf can provide immediate relief from elder neglect. Your New Jersey elder neglect attorney can move swiftly to protect you or your loved one and make sure the nursing home resident is getting the care and attention he or she deserves. Attorney Lance Brown fights New Jersey elder neglect as well as elder abuse in Pennsylvania nursing homes. For immediate assistance and effective relief, contact Lance Brown & Associates.