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New Jersey nursing home neglect victims may receive more help

With the help of a group of concerned citizens, disabled adults who use nursing homes and other residential living facilities may soon receive additional help from the state in cases of alleged abuse. This important protection offered by the state, along with the option of a personal injury lawsuit, can help those who suffer from nursing home neglect address improper treatment.

This development occurred when the Senate Committee in charge of overseeing the health of senior citizens, among others, unanimously voted to approve a motion transferring the Special Response Unit over to the New Jersey Attorney General. The SRU helps investigate reported abuses. The intention behind the shift is to provide more resources to oversee programs, residential care facilities and others licensed by the Department of Human Services to improve the response and investigation of these abuses.

As it stood, thousands of cases of abuse related to the neglect of the elderly, among other groups, were reported but only a few were actually investigated. During previous assembly hearings, it was noted that about 85 percent of reported cases went unattended while the remaining 15 percent were looked into by the SRU.

Of course, any additional protections will be a welcome relief to those with relatives or friends who must live in such facilities. Elder abuse like the cases reported can take many forms; some people suffer due to bed sores, while others may not be properly medicated. While the state offers a level of protection and safety through investigations, a personal injury lawsuit can also help those who suffer abuse recover financially from the situation. Together, these options can appropriately address the unacceptable conduct and help those in New Jersey who need it the most.

Source: newjerseynewsroom.com, "N.J. to Change How it Investigates Allegations of Abuse and Neglect of Developmentally Disabled," Salvatore Pizzuro, Feb. 4, 2013

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