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Pennsylvania Nursing Home Abuse Attorney

Deciding to move your parent or elderly relative into a nursing home can be difficult for everyone involved. Once you’ve chosen a comfortable, safe living environment with full-time care, and gotten through the stress of the actual move, you probably hoped to breathe easily at last. If instead of being well cared for, however, your relative suffers nursing home abuse, it can be devastating not only for your loved one but also for you.

Nursing Home Abuse Happens

Nursing home abuse is widely believed to go under-reported, but the National Center on Elder Abuse (NCEA) has nevertheless determined that millions of incidents occur each year. In support of this finding, the NCEA shares four significant statistics:

  • A U.S. House of Representatives report from 2001 (related to data from the previous two years) found that nearly a third of nursing homes had been cited for violating a federal standard that either could have caused a resident to be harmed or that did cause a resident to be harmed.
  • In that same study, 1 in 10 nursing homes had been cited for violating a federal standard that either caused a resident to be harmed, to be seriously injured, or to have his or her life jeopardized.
  • A study that interviewed 2,000 nursing home residents revealed that 44 percent of those interviewed reported having been abused and that 95 percent reported having been neglected or having witnessed another resident being neglected.
  • A 2010 study found that more than 50 percent of nursing home staff admitted to having mistreated a resident within the prior year (two-thirds of the occurrences involved neglect).

These statistics reveal that nursing home abuse occurs with alarming frequency.

If you suspect that your elderly loved one has suffered nursing home abuse, you need skilled legal counsel. At the Levin Firm PA, we understand how difficult this is for both of you, and we’re committed to aggressively advocating for your loved one’s rights, dignity, and rightful compensation.

Classifications of Abuse

Nursing home abuse (or elder abuse) is defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as the intentional act or failure to act by a caregiver that either causes a resident harm or causes a resident to be at risk of being harmed. Nursing home abuse is categorized into distinct classifications:

  • Emotional abuse is characterized by a caregiver’s use of verbal or nonverbal practices that inflict mental pain, fear, or emotional distress. Emotional abuse (or psychological abuse) can include threats, social isolation, the exertion of control, and humiliation.
  • Financial abuse (or financial exploitation) occurs when a caregiver (or care facility) improperly uses a resident’s resources for someone else’s benefit.
  • Sexual abuse is any sexual conduct that is exerted upon an incapacitated resident or upon a resident who is incapable of consenting. Abusive sexual conduct is defined as any sexual conduct that is forced upon or unwanted by a resident.
  • Neglect refers to a caregiver (or care facility) who fails to protect residents from harm or who fails to meet residents’ basic needs, including medical care, nutrition, hydration, personal hygiene, safe shelter, social interaction, and the activities of daily living.
  • Physical abuse takes place when a caregiver (or care facility) utilizes intentional physical force that causes a resident to suffer pain, injury, illness, emotional distress or death.

When it comes to your loved one’s well-being and safety, time is obviously critical. If you’re concerned that your relative has been the victim of nursing home abuse, seek experienced legal counsel immediately.

The Signs of Abuse

Visiting your aging relative often – but on a varied schedule – and staying in close contact with the nursing home staff and administration is the best method for ensuring that your loved one is well treated and is receiving appropriate care. There are a variety of signs that may signal nursing home abuse that you should be aware of:

  • If you have questions about your relative’s care and well-being, ask the staff and/or administrators. If your questions go unanswered or are evaded, it signifies a problem.
  • If your relative acts fearful or agitated when a specific staff member is nearby or is providing care, this could be indicative of abuse. Immediately discuss your concerns with the facility’s director and request a different caregiver.
  • If your loved one exhibits physical signs of abuse or neglect – including dehydration, malnutrition, or unexplained injuries, bruises, and/or bedsores, it’s serious; act quickly.
  • If your loved one displays physical or emotional changes, pay close attention. If you witness abrupt changes, investigate further and voice your concern. If your loved one exhibits a sudden deterioration in appearance or hygiene it can also indicate a problem.
  • If the nursing home seems to devolve into chaos on a regular basis, it’s a matter of concern. While 24-hour care facilities may be busy places, they are nevertheless charged with providing adequate care for their residents, and any failure to do so is a problem.

If Your Loved One Has Suffered Nursing Home Abuse, Contact an Experienced Pennsylvania Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Today

Nursing home abuse cases can be extremely upsetting and overwhelming. If you suspect that your loved one has suffered such abuse, you need skilled legal counsel. The elderly among us are some of our most vulnerable citizens, and it may be difficult to accept that they’re sometimes abused by the very people charged with their care. At The Levin Firm in Pennsylvania a, our compassionate nursing home abuse lawyers understand how devastating these cases are. We are committed to fighting for your loved one’s dignity, legal rights, and just compensation. We’re here to help, so please contact or call us at 215-825-5183 today.

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