Common Strategies Nursing Homes Use to Hide Elder Abuse
Elder abuse is one of the biggest concerns among families who make the decision to move a loved one to an assisted living facility. Most families know the importance of carefully reviewing any nursing homes they’re considering. They may also know how important it is to routinely check their loved ones for any signs of abuse.
However, it’s not always easy to recognize abuse. Nursing homes that do engage in abusive or neglectful behaviors are more likely to cover it up. We have compiled a list of the most common strategies that nursing homes use to hide elder abuse:
Failing to Report Accidents
Nursing homes are required by law to report cases of suspected abuse or neglect. They must report any incidents to the Department of Health and Human Services. Many nursing homes may skip this out of fear of an investigation. While they may plan to handle it internally, this can lead to the public not receiving accurate information about the home.
Some employees may also attempt to blame a resident’s injury on an accident when it’s clearly abuse or neglect so that they don’t have to report it. They may claim that a resident fell or tripped, leading to their injuries. They may also fail to record any accidents or injuries that residents sustain.
Another common method that nursing homes may use to cover up abuse or neglect is falsifying resident records. This usually involves changing information in a resident’s record to prevent suspicions of abuse or neglect. This may be a caregiver failing to include details about a resident or outright lying. It may also include nursing home administrators deleting information that caregivers report. They may falsify information on things like the meals given to residents or the care that each resident receives.
How to Keep Your Loved One Safe
One of the most important ways to keep your loved one in a nursing home safe is to monitor their condition and well-being. Rather than relying on reports from the nursing home staff, it’s important to also monitor their condition. For example, if you notice bruises or other signs of an injury, find out what happened. Look for inconsistencies in your loved one’s records that may indicate a cover-up. While missing or inaccurate information may not always mean that your loved one is being abused or neglected, it does mean that it’s worth it to look into the situation more.
Find out why the staff is not updating your loved one’s records. Ask them for more information when the records don’t tell the whole story. Look for signs of abuse or neglect in your loved one, like bruises, unexplained injuries, fearfulness, or a lack of access to medical resources.
If you believe that your loved one is the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, it’s important to report your suspicions. In New Jersey, you can report elder abuse to the Department of Health online or by phone. Even if the nursing home doesn’t report the incident, your report will open an investigation.
Contact a Newark Nursing Home Abuse Lawyer to Discuss Your Case Today
Seniors in nursing homes and other care facilities deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. Additionally, nursing home staff needs to ensure that patients are safe and secure at all times. If your loved one suffered an injury, or worse, due to nursing home negligence or abuse in New Jersey, you need to speak with a qualified attorney. The experienced nursing home neglect attorneys at Sugarman Law Firm represent clients throughout New Jersey, including Deptford, Perth Amboy, Cherry Hill, and Vineland. Call (732) 877-1975 or fill out the online contact form to schedule a free consultation today. We have an office conveniently located at 80 East Main Street, Somerville, NJ 08876, as well as an office in Marlton NJ.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.