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Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

Moving a parent or another loved one into a nursing home can be a difficult situation. Families often think it is a positive decision because the centers can provide around-the-clock care and yield the necessary supervision. Unfortunately, nursing home abuse and neglect can happen.

Although it does not happen at all centers, in some situations families who place loved ones in nursing homes find proper care is not being administered. This could lead to physical and mental illnesses. Your family member's health and well being are important, and he or she should not have to suffer because of someone's neglect.  Contact a Pennsylvania nursing home abuse attorney to review your case.

Philadelphia Nursing Home Abuse Defense Attorney

If you or a loved one have been mistreated or neglected while in a nursing home, contact a Philadelphia nursing home abuse lawyer at Alva Foster & Moscow, LLC. Our attorneys understand the sensitivity of your situation, and we can work with you to ensure the responsible party is held liable for these actions.  

Nursing home abuse and neglect should be taken seriously, and it could be considered medical malpractice. No matter the case, this something that could affect a plethora of people. The responsible party should be held liable. Alva Foster & Moscow, LLC can help you get the compensation you and your family deserve. No one should be mistreated, especially when he or she expects to be cared for in these facilities.

Alva Foster & Moscow, LLC represents clients in and around Philadelphia, including in Chester County, Bucks County, Montgomery County and Delaware County. We also represent the injured across Pennsylvania and New Jersey. Call (215) 665-1695 to schedule a free consultation about your case.

Information About Pennsylvania Nursing Home Abuse

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Types of Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

According to the World Health Organization, elder abuse is a violation of human rights and a significant cause of illness, injury, loss of productivity, isolation, and despair. However, many people throughout the country still are mistreated when living in long-term care facilities. Despite paying large sums of money for what they expect to be high quality care, often people find themselves abused or neglected.

Several different types of abuse and neglect have been reported at nursing homes throughout the country. Some of the most common types of abuse and neglect could include:

  • Physical abuse
  • Psychological abuse
  • Resident-to-resident abuse
  • Gross neglect
  • Medical neglect
  • Emotional abuse and neglect
  • Sexual abuse
  • Financial exploitation

It is important to be aware of what types of abuse can happen and know the appropriate actions to take. All states have agencies that will investigate nursing home abuse, and depending on the type of abuse, local law enforcement agencies may become involved. Your loved one is important and he or she should be respected and cared for appropriately.

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Signs of Neglect and Abuse in Long-Term Care Facilities

Because nursing home abuse can take many forms, the signs of abuse often are different. Knowing what to look for in abuse can be critical in determining the safety and health of your loved one. Additionally, it could be beneficial when holding the responsible party liable.
Some signs of abuse and neglect could include:

  • Unexplained injuries, such as bruises, burns or cuts
  • Chronic infections
  • Broken bones
  • Open bed sores
  • Extreme weight loss
  • Dehydration
  • Fear of or distain for nursing home staff
  • Depletion of finances or missing personal items
  • Withdrawal from personal activities, such as physical activities
  • Change in mood or sudden depression

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Pennsylvania and Federal Nursing Home Regulations

Regulations and requirements for nursing homes are outlined in Pennsylvania Code Health and Safety Title 28. Under Subpart C, these long-term care facilities have several safety and health requirements to meet, including maintaining the grounds to ensure it does not interfere with the safety of the residents.

The state also adopted a portion of the federal requirements under 42 CFR 483.1—483.75. According to §  483.13, residents in these facilities have the right to be free from abuse, including verbal, sexual, physical, and mental abuse, corporal punishment and involuntary seclusion. This law also includes the right to be free from any physical or chemical restraints imposed for purposes of discipline or convenience.

For example, a nurse cannot administer medication to a resident for the purpose of discipline. The facilities only can provide medication for purpose of treating medical symptoms. Administering chemicals for any other reason could be considered abuse.

According to the federal code, the facility must develop and implement written policies and procedures that prohibit mistreatment, neglect and abuse of residents and misappropriation of resident property. The facility must:

  • Not use verbal, mental, sexual, or physical abuse, corporal punishment or involuntary seclusion
  • Not employ people who have been found guilty of abusing, neglecting or mistreating residents
  • Not employ someone who has had a finding entered into the state nurse aide registry concerning abuse, neglect or mistreatment
  • Report any knowledge  of actions by a court of law against an employee, which would indicate unfitness for service as a nurse aide or other facility staff to the state nurse aide registry or licensing authorities

Additionally, the facility must ensure that all allegations involving mistreatment, neglect or abuse, including injuries of unknown source, and misappropriation of resident property are reported immediately to the administrator of the facility and to other officials in accordance with state law.

For example, if a family member notices an injury on a resident, he or she should make a complaint to a staff member. The staff member then must ensure the facility director is notified, who then should notify state agencies, including the State survey and certification agency.

The facility must have evidence that all alleged violations are thoroughly investigated, and must prevent further potential abuse while the investigation is in progress, according to § 483.13(3).

The results of all investigations must be reported to the administrator or his or her designated representative and to other officials in accordance with State law within 5 working days of the incident. If the alleged violation is verified appropriate, corrective action must be taken.

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Fighting Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect

Any action or lack of action by a nursing home and its staff that negatively impacts the physical, mental or emotional well-being of a resident may be deemed as abuse or neglect. Additionally, victims of nursing home abuse have a right to seek compensation for their injuries.

After an instance of abuse or neglect, the victim and his or her family should contact a personal injury attorney who can begin work on the case. It is important to have evidence of the abuse, such as photographs of the injuries, and information about the nursing home, such as if it was in accordance with state and federal laws.

A skilled Philadelphia nursing home abuse attorney can look into every aspect of the case and help the victim determine the best options in seeking damages. The damages could include compensation for medical bills, lost personal finances and pain and suffering.

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Finding the Best Pennsylvania Nursing Home Abuse Defense Lawyer

No matter your age, you deserve to be treated with respect and cared for appropriately. If you or a loved one was mistreated in a nursing home or long-term care facility, contact a Philadelphia nursing home abuse defense attorney at Alva Foster & Moscow, LLC. We can help you hold the responsible party liable and get the compensation you deserve. No one should have to endure abuse. Call (215) 665-1695 today.