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Pennsylvania Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
Protecting the Rights of Victims throughout Pennsylvania
Millions of elderly Americans reside in nursing homes or assisted living homes. Pennsylvania specifically is one of the nation's "oldest states" with an estimated 17.4 percent of the population over 65 years of age. Unfortunately, this population is not safe from the reaches of abuse. Although nursing homes are strictly regulated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, nursing homes often suffer from a lack of staff or other less-than-ideal conditions. Circumstances such as these can often lead to abuse.
If you or a loved one has suffered abuse or neglect in a nursing home, you should contact a lawyer immediately to discuss your legal options. Filing a lawsuit not only protects yourself, but also protects others from suffering similar abuse in the future.
Please note: When in the best interest of the client, nursing home abuse cases may be referred to other law firms.
Signs of Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect
Nursing home abuse and neglect may sometimes be difficult to detect, because in many cases the victim has lost the ability to describe the abuse or ask for help.
Family members should be aware of signs of abuse and neglect, such as:
- Dehydration and/or malnutrition
- Sudden weight loss
- Bedsores (pressure ulcers)
- Instances of wandering/elopement
- Unexplained injuries in various stages of healing
- Withdrawn, anxious, or depressed behavior
- Unsanitary living conditions
- Poor hygiene
- Bruises, lacerations or broken bones
- Sudden change in mood and behavior
If you suspect that your loved one has been a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, contact Metzger Wickersham.
Bedsore Attorney in Pennsylvania
Bedsores are almost always a sign of neglect. Also called pressure ulcers, bedsores result when bedridden patients are not regularly turned in their beds. When patients are left to lie in the same position for too long without movement, the prolonged pressure on their skin can cause the skin to deteriorate. This wound can become infected and cause serious, potentially life-threatening injury, not to mention extreme discomfort and pain.
It is unacceptable for patients to suffer this kind of injury in a facility where they should be receiving attentive care. If you or your loved one has suffered a bedsore due to neglect, contact Metzger Wickersham as soon as possible to discuss your eligibility to pursue compensation for a nursing facility’s negligence.
Harrisburg Nursing Home Neglect Lawyers Serving All Pennsylvania
At Metzger Wickersham, our capable Harrisburg nursing home abuse lawyers have experience in handling a wide variety of nursing home negligence cases. We are backed by a tradition of excellence dating to the 1880's, the resources of a large firm, and the care and attention provided by our attorneys and our extensive legal staff. Clients trust that we are going to devote the resources necessary to their case. We strive to go above and beyond our clients' expectations and help them move on from a difficult chapter in their life.
To learn more about your options, call us today at (888) 286-2850 or fill out our online contact form. We're available 24/7 to take your calls and offer completely free case evaluations to get you started.
Types of Nursing Home Abuse
Abuse in nursing homes can be evidenced in diverse ways. Regardless of the type of abuse present, it is considered a criminal act. Commonly, the abuse is an act or oversight by a professional staff member or caregiver that results in harm to a nursing home resident. In severe cases, nursing home abuse results in wrongful death.
Nursing home abuse can include:
- Neglect of basic living necessities such as food, medicine, water, clothing or other care
- Medication errors
- Inadequate sanitation and hygiene
- Failure to monitor or protect residents from accidents
- Physical or sexual assault
- Theft or financial exploitation
- Emotional or psychological abuse such as threats, humiliation, verbal assault and isolation
- Abuse of court-appointed roles such as guardianship or power of attorney
How Do You Report Abuse in a Nursing Home?
If you suspect that your loved one is the victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, you should immediately report it to the proper authorities. If you have reason to believe someone is in immediate danger, contact local police or call 9-1-1 right away.
In all other situations, you can report Pennsylvania nursing home abuse in the following ways:
- Report the abuse to the administrator of the nursing home and/or your loved one’s doctor, nurse, or health care provider
- File a complaint with the Pennsylvania Department of Aging by calling (800) 490-8505 (anonymous reporting is available)
- Contact the local ombudsman coordinator in your area through the state’s Ombudsman Program; you can find our local ombudsman coordinator by using the Area Agency on Aging Locator
Note that, under Pennsylvania's Older Adults Protective Services Act, facility employees and/or administrators are required to report suspected abuse; if you report abuse or neglect to an employee or administrator at your loved one’s nursing home or long-term care facility, they are mandated by law to report that abuse. However, it is always a good idea to follow up after reporting abuse to the facility’s administration, and you may wish to report the abuse/neglect yourself directly to the appropriate entity to ensure your loved one’s safety and well-being.
If you suspect that your loved one has been a victim of nursing home abuse or neglect, contact Metzger Wickersham. We may be able to help you recover compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, mental anguish and emotional distress, and other damages.
Contact us today to obtain experienced representation for your case.
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