Delaware County Nursing Home Abuse Attorney
Senior citizens residing in nursing homes and assisted living facilities deserve courteous treatment and high-quality medical care. Sadly, nursing home abuse and neglect is a rampant issue in Delaware County, throughout Pennsylvania, and the United States. If you are worried that your spouse, parent, or elderly relative is being mistreated at his or her elder care facility, you should consult with an experienced attorney who can help you exercise your legal rights.
As founder of the Nursing Home Injury Help Center, attorney Brent Wieand is dedicated to helping elderly victims and survivors of negligence and abuse seek justice and compensation for the harm and suffering they have endured. He handles personal injury and wrongful death claims on behalf of seniors and their families throughout the county, including but not limited to Upper Darby, Haverford, Swarthmore, Lansdowne, Radnor, Chester, and Middletown.
To set up a free and confidential case evaluation, call Brent right away at (215) 666-7777.
How to Identify Nursing Home Abuse and Neglect
Abuse and neglect are often paired together, but they are not the same issue. Abuse refers to deliberate and intentional wrongdoing, while neglect or negligence occurs when a facility fails to meet state and/or federal standards for providing adequate and reasonable care. Even though neglect is not necessarily intentional like abuse, the effects of careless or substandard supervision and medical treatment can still result in serious and even fatal injuries. If you are worried about possible negligence or abusive treatment taking place at a home in the area, you should contact a Delaware County nursing home abuse lawyer immediately.
In order to spot potential red flags, you need to know what to look for. Some of the more common signs of elder abuse include:
- Unexplained bruising, lacerations, sprains, bone fractures, or other injuries.
- Uncharacteristic emotional behavior, such as sudden social withdrawal, anxiety, irritability, depression, or fearfulness.
- New and unusual sleeping patterns, such as insomnia or constant fatigue and tiredness.
- In cases of sexual abuse, warning signs can include altered gait (e.g. limping), soiled or tattered undergarments, emotional changes, and difficulty walking or sitting.
- In cases of financial abuse, warning signs can include unexplained withdrawals, purchases the victim cannot account for or remember, and unauthorized activity related to credit cards or bank accounts.
It is difficult to pinpoint precisely how often elder abuse occurs, because victims and survivors often fear the repercussions of coming forward. However, the CDC estimates at least 500,000 seniors are harmed in assisted living facilities and nursing homes throughout the country each year.
Types of Injury Claims Our Lawyers Handle
Abuse and neglect can come in many different forms. To meet our clients’ diverse legal needs, our attorneys handle a wide variety of claims related to serious personal injury and wrongful death, including but not limited to:
- Infections — Even the smallest cut or most minor toothache can turn fatal if malpractice or negligent supervision permits an otherwise avoidable infection to develop. Infections can cause a wide array of side effects, including fever, chills, fatigue, and weakness.
- Bed Sores — Also known as decubitis ulcers or pressure ulcers, bed sores usually occur when staff members fail to regularly clean and reposition bed-bound residents. Bed sores often strike the boniest areas of the body, such as the wrists, knees, hips, and ankles.
- Falls — Preventable falls may occur if a resident is deprived of mobility equipment (e.g. walkers, canes) or if nursing home staff do not supervise residents who need help walking. Falls are ranked as the leading cause of injuries and deaths for people aged 65 and older.
- Dehydration and Malnutrition (Malnourishment) — These issues both affect the immune system. This is a particularly serious concern for senior individuals, whose immune systems are already weakened by advanced age. Facility staff may deliberately withhold food or water as punishment, or be too thinly staffed to ensure good nutrition and hydration for all residents.
- Amputation — If a home allows a manageable disease such as diabetes to advance to the point where amputation is the only treatment option, medical malpractice by negligent doctors may be the underlying issue.
- Dosage Errors and Over-Medication — Many seniors rely on multiple prescription medications to maintain their health and fight disease. If staff forget to administer medication, medicate a resident too heavily or too frequently, mix up patients’ prescriptions, withhold medication, or fail to note and avoid dangerous drug interactions, you should consult with an attorney.
- Wandering — Also called elopement, wandering is often the fault of staff members who are either inattentive or too few in number to properly supervise all residents. A resident who wanders off a home’s premises is highly vulnerable to assault and robbery, and may also miss critical medication times.
To arrange a private legal consultation with an experienced Delaware County nursing home abuse attorney, call The Nursing Home Injury Help Center at (215) 666-7777 today. Your initial consultation is free of charge, and you’ll never pay any attorney’s fees unless we win compensation for your family through litigation, arbitration, or a settlement.
Disclosure: Attorney Brent Wieand’s office is located in Philadelphia, PA. We happily serve clients throughout all of Pennsylvania and New Jersey.