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New Jersey medical malpractice in the form of elderly abuse

Those who place loved ones in residential care facilities are often left with questions regarding the care that their family members receive. While many facilities have employees who are dedicated to the welfare of their patients, some residents become the victim of medical malpractice in the form of abuse. Unfortunately, three people in New Jersey were recently charged in incidents allegedly related to allegations of abuse in unrelated incidents.

The announcement of the charges against the certified nurse aides came as state officials recognize World Elder Abuse Awareness Day. State officials have announced their intentions of increasing efforts to protect the elderly from abuse. As part of these efforts, the state instituted -- and later expanded -- a "Safe Care Cam" program which provides hidden cameras to use when abuse is suspected.

Of the three recently charged, a 54-year-old woman reportedly struck an 87-year-old patient suffering from dementia in the head in the presence of co-workers. A 44-year-old woman was reportedly videotaped kicking a wheelchair out from under a 73-year-old patient. In the last case, a 55-year-old man allegedly threatened to break the neck of a wheelchair-bound patient and punched him.

It is often difficult to know how to respond to allegations of abuse. While it seems that New Jersey is committed to prosecuting those suspected of abusing residential care residents, families are often left handling the costs of medical treatment -- both physical and emotional -- in addition to the potential costs of moving the patient to a different facility, if necessary. Because these facilities have the responsibility of ensuring that employees are trained and in appropriate positions, filing a medical malpractice lawsuit following instances of abuse may be an appropriate reaction. An attorney with experience with such cases can help victims and their families fully understand their options.

Source: nj.com, "3 nursing home aides indicted over patient abuse claims", S. P. Sullivan, June 15, 2017

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