You may be struggling with guilt and worry if your elderly parent is living in a nursing home. It can be difficult to see your loved one decline in health and become dependent on others. Like many New Jersey residents, you may also worry that your parent is not receiving quality care, especially after you hear about incidents of nursing home abuse and neglect. How can caregivers willingly harm the ones in their care, you may wonder? 

As FindLaw explains, nursing home abuse takes many forms. Residents can be subjected to physical abuse, such as being shaken, slapped or kicked. Some caregivers sexually assault residents or mentally and verbally abuse them. Residents may also be vulnerable to financial exploitation by caregivers, in whom they can increasingly grow to trust and depend on. As you can imagine, these incidents are often intentional. 

However, not all acts of nursing home neglect or abuse are done by malicious or selfish caregivers. A neglectful caregiver may forget to give your relative medication at the correct time, fail to prevent or treat bed sores or simply leave your loved one alone for hours at a time. Even if a caregiver did not mean to ignore or mistreat your loved one, neglect can result in great harm. For example, a missed dose of medication can exacerbate a serious medical condition, or your parent could fall and be injured if he or she is not helped to the bathroom. 

This information is meant to educate you on various aspects of nursing home abuse and neglect, but it should not replace the advice of a lawyer.