Posted July 9, 2015 | Nursing Home Abuse & Neglect
We know that elder abuse is common, but widespread under-reporting makes it virtually impossible to fight the problem on a large scale. Many seniors fear that they will be retaliated against, be evicted from their nursing homes, or “place a burden” on their family members if they complain about neglect or abuse. We all need to work together to help erase these fears and empower seniors so they can lead safer, happier lives during their golden years. If you’re worried that a senior is being abused or neglected at a nursing home or assisted living facility, don’t stay silent! Voice your concerns by filing a formal complaint with the state of Pennsylvania. After you file a complaint, you should contact a nursing home abuse lawyer for legal help. Your loved one may be able to get compensated.
Abuse isn’t always easy to detect, because it can involve more than just punching, hitting, or kicking. Some forms of abuse do not leave any physical marks, so it is important to pay close attention to your loved one’s general mood and emotional response during your visits and conversations.
Pay attention to his or her body language and tone of voice around the nursing home staff and other personnel. If he or she seems unusually withdrawn, aggressive, depressed, or fearful, be on high alert. Everyone has “off days,” but ongoing uncharacteristic behavior may indicate that sexual, physical, or emotional abuse or nursing home neglect is taking place. Abuse can even be financial, though in these instances victims are generally unaware that they are being exploited for monetary gain.
Speaking broadly, abuse means intentional mistreatment or deprivation, while neglect means failure to provide. Neglect is often unintentional and results from under-staffing and lack of resources, but that doesn’t make its effects any less harmful to the victim. Common warning signs of neglect include, but are not limited to:
If you’re concerned about elder abuse or caregiver neglect in Pennsylvania, the Department of Health (DPH) should be able to help you and provide resources. In addition to handling health and safety issues like immunizations, organ donation, and emergency medical services, the DPH also deals with abuse and neglect in nursing homes, assisted living centers, and other facilities designed to care for senior citizens.
The DPH recommends taking these three steps:
If your grandparent or parent was injured at a nursing home in Pennsylvania, or was the victim of financial exploitation or sexual abuse, your family may be able to recover compensation. Compensation can help to cover your medical bills and keep your loved one more comfortable while they recuperate.
To start discussing your concerns in a free and completely private legal consultation, call nursing home abuse attorney Brent Wieand at (877) 654-3887. Brent also handles cases throughout New Jersey.