New Jersey graded on nursing home care, receives a B

Families for Better Care, a nursing home resident advocacy group out of Florida, published the first nursing home report card that examines the level of care provided in each state. According to the group's findings, 11 states provided care that earned an F; while only ten got an A. In addition, less than seven states were found to provide more than hour of professional nursing care to each resident daily.

The study was discussed in a recent CBS News story, calling attention to the fact that the nursing home population is estimated to jump over 40 percent in the next ten years. The study is intended to help encourage improvements to these and similar facilities in an effort to reduce the risk of nursing home negligence related injuries.

Nursing home negligence and injuries in New Jersey

Although New Jersey received a B from the group, poor care and accidents can still happen. Nursing homes in the state are licensed, regulated and inspected by a variety of agencies including the New Jersey Department Health and The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. If an inspection leads to the discovery of a deficiency, or violation of state or federal regulation, the facility generally has an opportunity to correct the issue. If residents are in immediate danger, the Department can demand the initiation of immediate corrective actions.

Facilities found in violation may also receive a monetary penalty. These can range from $50 to $10,000 per day per instance in violation of federal law depending on the severity of the infraction and $5,000 per day per violation for violation of state law.

Common forms of nursing home injuries

In some cases, a violation can lead to injury. According the Department of Health and Human Services, common forms of injury include:

  • Physical abuse. If unexplainable bruises and broken bones are present, physical abuse may be occurring.
  • Emotional abuse. An unusual withdraw from normal activities could indicate emotional abuse.
  • Exploitation. A sudden change of one's financial situation can be a red flag that a loved one's funds, property or assets are being misused.
  • Neglect and abandonment. Bedsores and poor hygiene as well as unusual weight loss can be signs of neglect.

Those who are the victims of nursing home abuse are likely eligible to receive compensation. Compensation may help cover the cost of medical and rehabilitative expenses as well as pain and suffering. Contact an experienced nursing home neglect and abuse attorney to discuss your options and better protect your legal rights.