Lancaster Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect Attorney
Protecting the Rights of Seniors and the Elderly in Lancaster
The senior population in the United States is growing, which means a rising number of the elderly are residing in nursing homes or long-term care facilities. The state of Pennsylvania is among the leaders in the nation when it comes to the elderly, with an estimated 19.1% of the population being 65 or older.
What is tragic to note is that the elderly are prone to being taken advantage of, neglected, and/or abused due to their age, especially in nursing homes. While the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid do their best to strictly regulate nursing homes, a substantial number of facilities are not up to standards. Factors like being short-staffed or hiring underqualified personnel often lead to cases of abuse and neglect.
If you suspect that an elderly loved one is the victim of abuse or neglect in a nursing home, it is imperative that you reach out to a qualified lawyer immediately to discuss the matter and the options available to you. Nursing home abuse and neglect should not be tolerated in Lancaster or anywhere else in our state.
Those who commit abuse in nursing homes or are negligent in their duties to care for the elderly should be held accountable, and a lawsuit for nursing home neglect would send a strong message to abusers and those who employ them.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect
Due to their age, seniors are vulnerable to abuse, which can be overlooked or go undetected if you don’t recognize the signs. Nursing home abuse and neglect can fly under the radar even more when the victim is unable to describe it or alert anyone to the abuse.
Family members are often the first to know and find out, so the earlier it is brought to your attention, the better. Watch out for the following signs of abuse and neglect:
Bedsores are a telltale sign of neglect. They occur when the elder nursing home patient spends an excessive amount of time bedridden or in a chair without being moved by a nursing home caregiver. Being left in the same position for too long causes undue pressure on the skin, creating irritation, pain, and discomfort. Bedsores vary in severity but should always be taken seriously as minor bedsores can potentially result in infection, hospitalization, and even death.
Bruises or Broken Bones
Discolored skin and decreased mobility in a nursing home resident are two signs of abuse. Nursing home staff may not have carefully moved or assisted the nursing home resident, resulting in a fall or—even worse—they may be physically striking the senior.
Due to a lack of balance, decreased strength, and limited mobility, seniors are more susceptible to falls. It is the nursing home staff’s responsibility to prevent such falls with careful monitoring and “fall proof” facilities. Falls can occur due to neglect, malnutrition or improper medication monitoring.
It is part of a nursing home or assisted living facility’s responsibility to make sure residents are clean and living in sanitary conditions. If you notice unsanitary living conditions or that your elderly loved one has poor hygiene, this qualifies as neglect.
Have you noticed that your loved one is acting increasingly depressed, withdrawn, or anxious? Are they not their usual self? Changes in mood or personality are often a clear sign that they have been emotionally abused.
Proper hydration and nutrition are especially important for aging seniors. Nursing homes are responsible for ensuring residents are served healthy, nutritious foods. If you notice a drastic drop in their weight, this should raise a red flag. Malnutrition could put seniors at risk of health problems and make them more prone to falls, bedsores and other complications.
If you suspect that you or your loved one is the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, do not hesitate to report the abuse immediately to the nursing home administration and/or your loved one’s doctor, nurse, or healthcare provider. You can even call 9-1-1 and involve the police.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
Whether it is due to an oversight, neglect, or even done unknowingly, if an act or inaction harms the elder resident, it can be deemed abusive.
Some examples of nursing home abuse and neglect include:
- Neglect of basic living necessities (food, medicine, water, clothing, etc.)
- Medication errors
- Insufficient sanitation and hygiene
- Failure to monitor or protect residents from accidents
- Physical or sexual abuse
- Theft or financial exploitation
- Emotional or psychological abuse (threats, verbal abuse, hurtful and disparaging remarks etc.)
Stop Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect in Lancaster
Metzger Wickersham has handled numerous cases involving nursing home abuse and neglect and we are proud to have made great strides in holding nursing home facilities accountable in the Lancaster area. Our staff of experienced lawyers has the knowledge and resources to ensure justice prevails and that neglect and abuse are penalized severely.
We're eager to help you seek justice, significant compensation and bring an end to your loved one’s suffering so they can enjoy their later years with peace of mind. Call us today at (888) 286-2850 and let’s discuss your case.
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