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Elder Abuse Is An Important Issue

New Jersey has a statute entitled the Nursing Home Bill of Rights which creates a separate cause of action for nursing home violations, some of which involve the improper treatment of nursing home residents. In particular, the Federal Regulations (OBRA), which govern nursing homes, are incorporated into the Nursing Home Bill of Rights. The Federal Regulations set forth the standard of care that is to be followed by the nursing home in administrating care and treatment to its residents. These regulations address such issues as staffing, nutrition, hydration, maintenance, personal hygiene, therapy, improper use of restraints, abuse, dignity, quality of life, activities of daily living etc.. By way of example, the regulations provide that patients with pressure ulcers must be turned, repositioned, given the appropriate mattress, receive treatments etc.   Many times, nursing homes will contend that the pressure sores are unavoidable given the resident’s other medical conditions and declining health. No pressure sores are unavoidable unless and until the nursing home can show that it took every step necessary to prevent the development of the pressure sore or the worsening of an existing pressure sore.

Every moment of life is precious. Nursing homes must treat their residents with dignity and provide services to ensure that the resident enjoys the highest possible quality of life.