As the Baby Boomer generation ages, there are more and more seniors who require around-the-clock care provided by nursing homes. As the cases of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia continue to increase each year, as well as physical limitations and disabilities that old age often brings, it often becomes impossible for an elderly person to live on their own.
Many Pennsylvania families just do not have the resources to have their elderly loved one come live with them, so they turn to a nursing home facility. Tragically, not all nursing home facilities provide the care that families think they do. Knowing what the signs are that could indicate your loved one is being abused or neglected is critical.
At Wieand Law Firm, LLC, each Philadelphia PA nursing home abuse lawyer aggressively advocates for nursing home abuse victims and their families and can help your family if you suspect the same is happening to your loved one. Contact our office to learn more.
What Are the Signs of Neglect or Abuse?
Nursing home abuse occurs all too frequently. According to the National Ombudsman Reporting System (NORS) data, within the year 2014, 14,258 complaints reported to Ombudsman programs involved abuse, gross neglect, or exploitation. Additionally, elders who experienced abuse, even modest abuse, had a 300% higher risk of death when compared to those who had not been abused. Therefore, it is important to know the signs of nursing home abuse to ensure the health and safety of the older adult.
So many nursing home abuse victims are no longer able to communicate with their families because of the medical conditions they have. This is why it is so important for families to recognize what types of signs that may indicate their loved one is being neglected:
Staff: If you find there are staff members who are supposed to be caring for your loved one who are unwilling to answer your questions, act as if they are hiding something, or are just dismissive to any questions or concerns you have, this could be an indicator that your loved one is not receiving the care they are supposed to be receiving.
Staff that is not attentive to patients is also an indicator that patients are not receiving the care you think they are. The care and well-being of the patients should be top priority for nursing home staff. If they do not respond to a patient’s call for help, they ignore phone calls from families, and there is a lack of respect towards the patients, these may signal an inattentive or poorly trained nursing home staff.
Emotional Changes: Even if your loved one is unable to communicate what is going on, any emotional changes in their behavior often indicates they are not being well taken care of. If your family member refuses to participate in activities that they used to enjoy, acts depressed, uncommunicative, or withdrawn, these too can be signs that they are being neglected or abused in some way. Other signs include hostility, being scared, easily become agitated, unable to sleep, or inexplicable weight loss.
Physical Signs: If your loved one suddenly begins developing bruises, scratches, or other marks that are unexplained, that should send up red flags of abuse. Other physical signs include malnourishment, dehydration, and bed sores.
Other signs of nursing home abuse may include refusal to take medications, expressed fear of a caregiver, and bleeding or injury from vaginal or anal areas unrelated to medical diagnosis.
While these signs do not definitively indicate abuse, these warning signs should be taken seriously and be further investigated. Trust a nursing home abuse lawyer Philadelphia PA relies on. We have many years of experience in helping families to understand nursing home abuse and take steps towards reparation.
Contact a Compassionate Nursing Home Abuse Attorney Today
If you suspect your family member has suffered mistreatment at the nursing home they reside at, contact Wieand Law Firm, LLC for help. Our skilled nursing home abuse lawyer Philadelphia PA families turn to can discuss the details of your case, as well as what the legal options are that your family may have. Call our office today.
A nursing home abuse lawyer Philadelphia PA calls in times of emergency, Brent Wieand of the Wieand Law Firm, LLC understands that when you trust your loved one in the care of a nursing home, that you expect quality care. Unfortunately, too often loved ones suffer abuse at the hands of nursing home staff. Nursing home abuse can result in physical harm, such as bruises, broken bones and pain, as well as emotional suffering.
The Wieand Law Firm, LLC has been representing the residents and families of nursing home abuse in Philadelphia for years. Talk to a top nursing home abuse lawyer Philadelphia PA has to offer call us today. We will advocate for you and your loved one to fight for compensation for injuries and emotional anguish caused by nursing home abuse.
What Should I Do If I Suspect Nursing Home Abuse?
An experienced nursing home abuse lawyer Philadelphia PA can help guide you regarding reporting of nursing home abuse. Emergency situations may require immediate medical attention or law enforcement intervention. Notification to Adult Protective Services will help to investigate the complaint. Additionally, reporting to the Department of Health can be beneficial, as they can review the allegation to determine whether the facility failed to meet regulatory guidelines. The Wieand Law Firm, LLC helps to advise families regarding their rights during an abuse investigation and facilitate the provision of medical records for a comprehensive review.
Filing a Nursing Home Abuse Claim or Lawsuit
Major nursing home chains have extensive legal resources to combat nursing home abuse claims. Therefore, it is critical that you have representation on your side that has just as much experience in fighting for the rights of nursing home abuse victims. The Wieand Law Firm, LLC has successfully represented many victims of nursing home abuse to achieve success by settlement using the litigation process.
Please call a knowledgeable and skilled nursing home abuse lawyer Philadelphia PA patients and families have come to count on to advocate for them against abuse. The Wieand Law Firm, LLC will provide professional and empathetic consultation and expert advice regarding your specific situation.
To speak with a nursing home abuse lawyer at the Wieand Law Firm LLC call us today. We offer a free, no-obligation consultation.
Physical and Chemical Restraints in Nursing Home Abuse Cases
The laws in Pennsylvania and across the country are clear: any person receiving treatment or residing in a nursing home be free from neglect or abuse. Unfortunately, issues including inadequate training of staff and understaffing have caused an alarming increase in the number of nursing home abuse and neglect cases. At Wieand Law Firm, LLC, each Philadelphia PA nursing home abuse lawyer has extensive experience advocating for victims of nursing home abuse and their families. If you suspect a loved one has been victimized, contact our office to meet with a nursing home abuse lawyer immediately.
There are many different ways a nursing home resident can suffer abuse, but one of the most commonly undetected ways is via unreasonable restraint. Many residents in nursing homes suffer from medical or cognitive issues and may need to sometimes be kept from moving for their own health and safety. But in horrific behavior, many nursing home staff are overusing both physical and chemical restraints as a way to keep residents quiet. This abuse can leave residents duffer both physical injuries and emotional anguish from being restrained unreasonably. This type of abuse is a major patient’s rights violation and victims are entitled to financial justice for the trauma they suffered. If you suspect your loved one has suffered this type of abuse, contact a Philadelphia PA nursing home abuse lawyer immediately.
Physical Restraint Abuse
Regardless of their mental or physical condition, every single nursing home resident is entitled to be treated with compassion, allowing them to have as much autonomy as possible without interfering with their safety. As a Philadelphia PA nursing home abuse lawyer can attest, in nursing home abuse cases, many times a resident is classified as a high maintenance case as a way for staff to justify the unwarranted use of restraints. Legally, physical restraints should only be used in situations where a resident poses a risk to harming themselves or others. Excessive use of physical restraints is abuse.
Physical restraint abuse often involves using arm and hand restraints, ties, and straps attached to the guardrails of beds. Another method is to tightly tuck the bed sheets around the resident so they cannot move.
Chemical Restraint Abuse
Chemical restraint abuse involves the use of medication to keep a patient still. Some nursing homes will over medicate residents by giving them extra does of the medications the resident has been prescribed. But there is also a frightening practice that many nursing home facilities have been caught doing and this is giving residents dangerous antipsychotic medication. These drugs keep residents sedated, making sure they are lethargic and quiet. This practice has become so widespread that one study found that almost 180,000 nursing home residents are currently given antipsychotic drugs with no medical justification at all.
Antipsychotic medications are meant for patients who suffer from severe mental illness, such as schizophrenia. Not only are they not approved for patients who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, but two of the most commonly given of these drugs – haloperidol and risperidone – have a black box warning (the most dire) from the FDA alerting of the increased risk of death these medications can have if given to elderly dementia patients.
If your elderly loved one has been a victim of unreasonable restraint or other nursing home abuse or neglect, contact Wieand Law Firm, LLC today to meet with a nursing home abuse lawyer Philadelphia PA families recommend and find out how we can get you the financial justice you deserve.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and is not legal advice.