Signs of Elder Abuse and What You Can Do about It
- March 15, 2022
When you entrust others to care for your elderly loved one, you expect that they will receive the utmost medical treatment, dignity, and respect. Discovering that your loved one has been mistreated, abused, or deprived of proper medical care by a nursing home, assisted living facility, or another long-term care facility can be shocking and elicit a variety of emotions ranging from anger to sadness to guilt. It is important to know that preventing or stopping a cycle of abuse is possible with the right legal support. The following are some of the warning signs to look for to determine whether immediate legal steps are necessary.
Know the Signs
Some signs of elder abuse or neglect may be readily apparent physically like bruises, abrasions, and bedsores. However, other signs of abuse may be less obvious and subtle, such as:
- Changes of behavior
- Fear of staff
- Hesitation in calling for assistance
- Poor hygiene
- Weight loss
You know your loved one - you know their personality and their behaviors. If anything seems amiss, do not hesitate to inquire further and take action to investigate. Remember, your loved one may be unable or afraid to speak up about what is happening to them, so it may fall upon you to recognize the signs and take action to protect them.
What to Do When You Suspect Abuse is Occurring
If you see signs of elder abuse or neglect, there are a number of immediate steps you can take to get some oversight and investigation started. Loved ones are encouraged to call the New Jersey Department of Health at 1-800-367-6543 as well as the NJ Ombudsman for the Institute of Elderly and Adult Protective Services (APS) at 1-877-582-6995. The Ombudsman is the consumer voice for residents of nursing homes and is also a resource center. The APS can perform a welfare check for all residents of that facility, and you can file complaints with them regarding abuse or neglect of your loved one.
It is also equally important to obtain legal advice from an experienced attorney, such as the attorneys at the Antonucci Law firm, who will hold those accountable for any neglect or abuse and aggressively fight to protect your loved one and put an end to the cycle of abuse or neglect. Call (908) 747-4477 now to schedule your free consultation with one of our experienced and compassionate attorneys.